03 | A Chat With Lauren Collins
Listen to Episode 3: A Chat With Lauren Collins
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In this episode, I'm joined by The New Yorker staff writer and author, Lauren Collins, to discuss Lauren's recently published book, When in French. In this memoir, Lauren shares her adventures in love and in learning French when she moves to Geneva to live with her French husband. Originally from North Carolina, Lauren deftly describes the challenges she faced in adjusting to a new culture and language. Through learning French, Lauren developed a fascination for examining the ways in which language shapes our lives, and her personal anecdotes are interspersed with informative and engaging reflections on language theory.
In our conversation, I questioned Lauren further about her writing process, her impressions of Geneva and her life as an ex-pat. Lauren's answers were thought-provoking and entertaining, and I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did!
Scroll to the bottom to find out how to enter the Tea & Tattle Giveaway to win a copy of When in French and some Swiss related treats (chocolate is involved!).
- 00:32 - Miranda introduces Lauren Collins.
- 01:41 - Lauren explains how she went from living in North Carolina, to meeting a Frenchman in London and moving with her new husband to Geneva.
- 04:10 - Lauren discusses how her love for reading sparked her writing career, and her start in journalism, first at Vogue (very Devil Wears Prada!) and then at The New Yorker.
- 07:14 - The inspiration behind writing When in French.
- 10:49 - Miranda reads aloud one of her favourite passages from the book.
- 13:01 - How language influences our sense of identity.
- 15:56 - Miranda explains her own rather fraught history with French, and how she went from being bilingual to speaking only English as a child.
- 21:01 - Lauren explains her struggles adapting to life in Geneva and how she found the move to Paris much easier.
- 24:50 - The pleasures and pitfalls of raising a child to be bilingual.
- 28:54 - How Lauren first became interested in language theory.
- 30:14 - The personal side to When in French. Miranda asks how Lauren found the courage to share some of her more intimate memories.
- 30:30 - What's next for Lauren?
- Lauren Collins' website.
- Lauren's New Yorker profile.
- When in French on Amazon.
- Follow Lauren on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
- Stephen Pinker's The Language Instinct - perfect reading if you have a burgeoning interest in Linguistics!
click on the Twitter icon to share our favourite quote from this episode
If English were a 90s retro slip dress, wearing French would be like putting on something with great corsetry.
- Lauren Collins
Tea & Tattle Giveaway
We're delighted to be giving away a hardback copy of When in French, as well as some delectable Swiss chocolate and soothing chamomile tea to enjoy as you read the book (we were rather inspired by our Hygge Emergency Kits!). To enter, make sure you are following both @mirandasnotebook and @sophie_perdita on Instagram, and like and put a comment on Miranda's instagram photo (pictured above) saying what you loved most about Lauren's interview. The deadline to enter is midnight (UK time) 21st November 2016. The winner will be announced on 22nd November!
Note: this giveaway is international and open to all those who take part. Good luck!
Thank you so much for listening and being a part of Tea & Tattle podcast. We love to hear your thoughts, so please let us know:
Do you have any experience of bilingualism? Do you feel a slightly different person when speaking different languages? What did you enjoy most about Lauren's interview?
Sophie is back on the podcast, and we're discussing the important role fashion has played in both our lives. See you next Tuesday!