Around the Island

Friday Night Dialogues: A French connection

On Friday, Sept. 6, David Bouchier will visit the Shelter Island Public Library to talk about the “real South of France.” He will read from his new book, “Not Quite a Stranger – Essays on Life in France,” a collection of personal essays that isn’t quite a travel book, nor is it a memoir. Instead, it provides a lively portrait of France and the French through the unique voice of Mr. Bouchier. 

Travel with him from the small rented apartment near the Canal Saint-Martin where the “elevator was the size of a suitcase” to the town of Uzes, where the modern inhabitants transform themselves into 14th century villagers for a once-a-year medieval festival which he describes as, “a historical re-enactment of peace in the form of a market day.”

The reader will enjoy exploring French village life alongside Mr. Bouchier and his wife, Diane, as they learn the secrets of driving, local politics, shopping and vacationing in the French style.

Each chapter features a delightful short essay covering a wide array of topics. Sometimes thoughtful and sometimes humorous, they’re always entertaining and enlightening, each capturing France from a different angle. For example, on the subject of haute couture Mr. Bouchier says, “my questions are the same every year when the new fashions are announced: who wears this stuff, and where, and why?”

Mr. Bouchier was born in London and has worked as a journalist, bookseller, tour guide, professor, freelance writer and broadcaster for NPR in New York and Connecticut. He divides his time between Stony Brook and a village near Uzes in France. 

Join us on Friday, Sept. 6, in the library’s community room at 7 p.m. to enjoy the tales and photos from this award-winning humorist. There is no fee for this program, however, donations are always appreciated. 

Up next: On Sept. 20, at 7 p.m., trivia master Bob DeStefano will lead teams in the Battle of the Brains contest. You may register your team at the circulation desk.