June 8, 2012 - The Meaning of the Memoir - From The Chicago Tribune Paris in Love is featured in this article about the memoir.
May 18, 2012 - Mary Bly (a.k.a. Eloisa James) Talks to TIME About Her Literary Double Life - Time Magazine has a Q&A session with Eloisa James.
April 27, 2012 - 'Paris in Love': A Rutgers Professor and his Family Take a Sabbatical in the Truest Sense - Rutgers University talks to Alessandro (aka Professor Vettori) about his sabbatical..
March 31, 2012 - Books: New and noteworthy - USA Today features Paris in Love in their list of the hottest books on sale the week of April 1.
The Fordham Observer
March 28, 2012 - Mary Bly Talks New Book: 'Paris in Love' - The Fordham Observer talks to Eloisa, (a.k.a. Shakespeare professor Mary Bly), on her new book Paris in Love.
The New York Times
March 8, 2012 - We'll Always have Paris Memoirs - Eloisa and Paris in Love appear in the New York Times Style Section
February 10. 2012 - Paris in Love: PW Talks with Eloisa James - Amy Boaz of Publishers Weekly interviews Eloisa about Paris in Love.
4 stars (of 4)
"After fighting cancer, James took a sabbatical from her university job as a professor and Shakespeare scholar to spend a year in Paris with her husband and two kids. In this delightful charm-bracelet of a memoir, James, also the author of 20 romance novels, offers quirky, often laugh-out-loud funny snapshots of her adventures as an American suddenly immersed in all things French-food, clothes, joie de vivre. Her portrait of her family is equally lighthearted, and her reference guide is indispensable."
"Eloisa James' enchanting memoir about living in France for a year features a funny fat Chihuahua named Milo, enormous chunks of dark delicious chocolate, American and French culture-clashing, and, of course, the envy-inducing éclat of elegant French females… Written like a spool of lovely prose haiku, Paris in Love gives the reader a sense of being immersed along with James in Paris for the year rather than reading her memories. As if in real time, you see the rain, taste the food, observe the people…In the end, Paris in Love isn't about going abroad, it's about making the most of the time we're given in life. This would make a lovely Mother's Day gift."
"[James's] online musings on food, fashion, and family became the basis for this chronicle of an unforgettable year in Paris, where, without the constant claims of academic life and the rigorous demands of the publishing treadmill, James rediscovered the simple pleasures of life. Her chic, charming, and completely captivating memoir of a healing year in the City of Light is bound to inspire readers to dream of setting off on their own escapes."
"Written with a dry sense of wit and an elegant sense of style, James' literary love letter to the City of Light is inspiring and insightful."
"Tucked inside Eloisa James' memoir Paris in Love is a line about a mother and her little boy, begging for food on a department store doorstep during a bitter-cold winter day in 2009. "Paris is by turns the most beautiful city in which I've lived -- and the most heartbreaking," Ms. James aptly observes. One paragraph later, she describes her daughter's school Christmas play and an amusing version of "Last Christmas," sung by kids with heavy accents. Ms. James' memoir of her year in France is filled with these brief, and sometimes arresting, glimpses into the corners of Paris…the book's format lends itself to rich details that otherwise might get lost."
Christian Science Monitor:
"[Mary] Bly, a gifted and unpretentious writer, knows how to flout expectations. Both a professor of Shakespeare at Fordham University and a daughter of famed poet Robert Bly, she's already sidestepped literary snobbery by writing historical romances under a pen name, Eloisa James. Now, by massaging the memoir out of its recent state as a trauma vehicle, she's restored it to being another form that's fun to read. Bly's snippets…are as delicious as the most delicate of Parisienne bonbons."
"Paris in Love: A Memoir is a series of charming outtakes…including [Eloisa's] children's initial struggles and later triumphs in school, as well as her own increasingly bold forays into French-ness, from food and flea markets to embracing her femininity—where better than Paris to rediscover the pleasures of lingerie, post-mastectomy (and reconstructive surgery)? Along the way, James savors the moments of dissonance and satisfaction that come from the shared adventure of figuring out life in another country."
"Her memoir is made up mostly of paragraph-long vignettes, selected from her Facebook entries from the period. Rather than introspective journal entries, these were clearly designed from the first for others to read. They're observant, charming and often witty. To her, Paris "feels like a jumbled-up buffet of earthly delights (lingerie and museums and cheese)." ... Her down-to-earth comments and clear appreciation of her good fortune make this a likable book." Read the full review
"Paris in Love is a charming, funny and poignant memoir in which not much happens -- they eat wonderful food (and not-wonderful food); they walk through Paris in the rain, in the night, in the daytime, in the snow; the children struggle at school, and then succeed; Bly admires the fashions and the shop windows and notices homeless people and thinks, a lot, about her parents, Minnesota writers Robert Bly and Carol Bly...Glimpses into the now-famous Bly farmhouse are riveting. They were so poor that Carol Bly dressed her daughters in frocks made from the dining-room curtains, but she also taught her children exquisite manners, "instructing us in the mysteries of a table set with family silver, which she insisted on using at every meal." … Late in the book, Robert Bly sends her a poem he had published in the New Yorker. He has her Paris address correct, but he neglected to write her name on the envelope, a detail that fills her with apprehension. "My beloved father is losing his memory," she writes. "I am so afraid of the day when there are no more poems, or letters." But the poetry will live on through Mary Bly, and in her poignant book, steeped in Paris and suffused with love." Read the full review
The Romance Reviews:
"Far from being simply a memoir, a survivor's story, or a piece of 'chick lit', this is a witty, insightful, inspirational book that is as decadent as a box of bon-bons, and inspiring enough to make me want to take more adventures, to wring more experiences out of every day." Read the full review
"One of the reasons I adore Eloisa [James] is that she publicly speaks up about being a romance author, academic, and intelligent real woman. She has broken so many stereotypes--and this book is another one. By peeking inside her life and heart, you can see the stereotypes for what they are, fear-based fiction. [A]s we women get older, perspectives shift, what matters changes, and all the little things that get swept away when you are younger and worrying about the big things take on epic, romantic proportions. This is, after all, a romance--for a city, a life, a family, and love itself." - Maria Rodale, CEO and Chairman of Rodale, Inc., The Huffington Post
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love:
"What a beautiful and delightful tasting menu of a book: the kids, the plump little dog, the Italian husband. Reading this memoir was like wandering through a Parisian patisserie in a dream."
Paris in Love: A Memoir (Starred Review)
Eloisa James. Random, $26 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6956-9
Two American academics with growing kids shucked life in the New Jersey suburbs for a year in Paris and savored the splendors of style and gourmandise, as James, the nom de plume of romance author Mary Bly, recounts in this effervescent diary. Bly, a professor at Fordham University, wrangled the family to Paris on her sabbatical after the death of her mother from cancer and her own bout with breast cancer. Her Italian-American husband, Alessandro, was the only one who could speak French, while the two children, Anna, 11, and Luca, 15, were immersed in an American school in Paris where they were shocked by the rigor and discipline compared to their American Quaker school. Living on the rue du Conservatoire, in the diverse 9th arrondissement, and aiming to write academic tomes and romance novels, the author mainly shopped, according to her percolating dispatches rendered in discrete segments like diary entries: for chocolate, shoes, emergency hair highlights, and lingerie. Dazzled by the array of menu choices and fine luxury products, she was frequently paralyzed by the Frenchwoman’s ability to look chic without being studied or silly. While the children struggled then triumphed in school and with new friends, the dog grew fatter, and Alessandro advised his French conversation partner in affairs of the heart, James/Bly discovered a “materialist’s playground” in Paris, finding just that precious objet or museum or nibble, and relaying in her sensible, reflective prose the lessons to take home and dream over. Agent: Kim Witherspoon. (Apr.)