Time to Talk about my memory on Community TV

Bastille Day brings valuable radio talk

Bastille Day was a great chance to promote my new memoir Farewell My French Love, when I wrote and did a media distribution on a funny take on the French people and their idiosyncrasies.  And how lucky was I when the popular Sydney radio station, 2UE, picked up my release and telephoned for a chat on its lifestyle morning program. How good is modern technology because here it is for you to experience.  IT’S LIGHT AND FLUFFY, but I get a chance to namedrop my book, and it was fun.  Although as a former Cultural Issues writer at The Advertiser, my observation of the French is a fine skill, thank goodness, the hosts didn’t ask about the reason for Bastille Day which would have taken up my 10 minute slot and bogged me down into the French Revolution. Instead my memoir captures   the modern delights of travelling in France – its foods, wines and cheeses and the glorious regions of Provence, the Loire Valley and Brittany.

Here is the link for you to listen to.

 

https://omny.fm/shows/the-morning-mix/today-is-bastille-day-french-national-day

 

A Giant Leap into the New Media

Delighted to share this YouTube video teaser which captures the funny side of my bitter/sweet memoir Farewell My French Love – how my travels through France with my Sydney friend Jane revealed profound differences over glorious French food. So proud of my grandson Samuel who filmed our “discussion” over a glass of wine in Chez Olivier.  My daughter Serena needs to be thanked too, because she orchestrated its production.   A longer video is in the Williams production house in between Samuel’s schoolwork.

Feel free to post your feedback after you have viewed the light-hearted video clip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhIUNYZe4f0

Accolade in OZ review for FMFL memoir

 

 

 

Am over the moon that Australia’s national paper, The Australian, ran a review on my memoir Farewell My French Love last weekend.  Published by Harlequin’s new arm HQ non-fiction, it was one of four reviews under the heading “Intrepid Women of the World.”  I was one of those four women. And it swelled my pride that the only quotation from those four reviews by noted reviewer and critic Agnes Nieuwenhuizen,  was mine. Strangely, I had not picked this quotation as pivotal to the grief experience, but I certainly quoted it yesterday at an author’s talk. It reads:

“I try and grasp the fact that I had a life before Olivier, an identity as a prominent newspaper woman…Surely I had a gathering of life skills to cope with my adversity? I am beginning to rue the fact that somewhere in the bliss of my marriage, I lost my sense of independence. I became joined at the hip with Olivier, and my feeling of wholeness included him.  Emotional interdependence. I wrote about its dangers before I met him and I never intended it to happen to me. However, such intense togetherness was Olivier’s idea of a French marriage…”

 

You can read more about my memoir here : https://www.facebook.com/Life-Style-by-Nadine-Williams-109475362455450/?ref=br_rs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk about grief and loss and love

My magic moment at the podium.

Am over the moon that Australia’s national paper, The Australian, ran a review on my memoir Farewell My French Love last weekend.  Published by Harlequin’s new arm HQ non-fiction, it was one of four reviews under the heading “Intrepid Women of the World.”  I was one of those four women. And it swelled my pride that the only quotation from those four reviews by noted reviewer and critic Agnes Nieuwenhuizen,  was mine. Strangely, I had not picked this quotation as pivotal to the grief experience, but I certainly quoted it yesterday at an author’s talk. It reads:

“I try and grasp the fact that I had a life before Olivier, an identity as a prominent newspaper woman…Surely I had a gathering of life skills to cope with my adversity? I am beginning to rue the fact that somewhere in the bliss of my marriage, I lost my sense of independence. I became joined at the hip with Olivier, and my feeling of wholeness included him.  Emotional interdependence. I wrote about its dangers before I met him and I never intended it to happen to me. However, such intense togetherness was Olivier’s idea of a French marriage…”

 

You can read more about my memoir here : https://www.facebook.com/Life-Style-by-Nadine-Williams-109475362455450/?ref=br_rs

Tensions of the “Odd Couple” a highlight says Arts critic Samela Harris

There is really only so much I can say about my own book, Farewell My French Love, released today into all good bookshops Australia-wide.

So, I have called on a former colleague, arts critic and blogger extraordinaire, Samela Harris to read my book and write a review without fear of favour. And it is interesting how other people view my story – that it’s not so much about sadness, loss and grief, but about friendship, about Jane and my travels together and our clashes over food.

Before you begin, I want to add that Samela was the good mate who asked me a second time (the first time I refused unable to get out of my own gloom) to attend a Lyceum Club luncheon in early 2013.  The timing was right, and as I record in my book, the Lyceum Club, in the company of women, played a part in my recovery – particularly its fantastic international meetings in Perth and Europe.  Four years later, we are still fellow Lyceum members.  So, here are Samela’s thoughts about Farewell My French Love.

Renowned Adelaide arts and literature critic Samela Harris

“Nadine Williams has loved and lost. She diarised her love story with the sweet French man of her dreams in a lively travel book called From France With Love. Now, following the sad death by cancer of her husband, Olivier, she has diarised her loss with Farewell My French Love, another lively travel memoir which retraces her steps, this time with her girlfriend, Jane. Of course, there is no cure for grief save for the gentle passage of time, but Williams’s pro-active approach at least yields substantial distraction – and, serendipitously, an entertaining study on how not to choose your travelling companion. Thus the story of the widow on the recherche du temps perdu road trip turns unexpectedly into a contemporary Laurel and Hardy adventure, for Williams and her companion are extraordinary  opposites. Williams is a sensualist and a passionate lover of beautiful French food. Her companion has a decidedly ascetic approach to food. Epicurean Williams drools over luscious full breakfasts while abstemious Jayne wishes no more than half a croissant. Jane eschews evening wines and lingering three-course French dinners, preferring a spartan apple in the hotel room.  Williams had not anticipated this impasse in an otherwise agreeable and long-standing friendship; but she refuses to let it get in the way of the joy of French cuisine. Toute seule, she bravely hits grand dining rooms taking solace from the spirit of Olivier who first introduced her to these gastronomic pleasures.

The friendship between skinny Jane and ample Williams is tested by these and other cultural differences.  Williams love to shop. Jane is frugal. Williams is mad on French queens. There is nothing she does not know about them and she wants to impart it all in torrents of enthusiasm both to her companion and on the pages of the book. Jane finds it de trop and keeps wandering off alone to experience a less fact-filled aspect of the country. They have a spat. Or two. It is quite an emotional roller coaster for Williams but she has deep resources of good-nature. The unlikely pair makes it through Williams’s nostalgic French pilgrimage with their  friendship miraculously intact.”

The book loses some of its impetus when Jane leaves the scene. Francophile Williams has further adventures in France and triumphantly passes her French language exams. She engages with nice people. She writes some evocative descriptives. She waxes philosophic, contemplating life, femininity and the future as a widow. Williams is a singularly positive and resourceful woman and she recognises her power to move on. This is the point of the book and she delivers some wise words which will resonate with many.

But the tensions of the odd couple are really what brought the book its life.”

Farewell my French Love, by Nadine Williams is published by Harlequin and is now available from all good bookshops.