The foreign student

by Philippe Labro
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A #1 bestseller in France, this is a nostalgic portrait of a French scholarship student’s discovery of America during the academic year of 1954–1955.

I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be American, like any ordinary student, because I figured that was my only chance to survive the immense loneliness looming ahead of me. I was elated to be there, in that remote Virginia alley, on that college campus. I was elated because back there, far away in France, my brothers would never experience this. And the school friends I left behind—they too were missing out on this tremendous adventure.

Soon the young freshman becomes seduced by American culture and the popular icons of the mid-fifties: Jack Kerouac, Elvis Presley, James Dean, Fats Domino . . . a green Buick convertible, drive-in movies, and pretty Grace Kelly lookalikes in tight cardigans.

Praise for The Foreign Student

“One of those books that is beyond criticism . . . a vivid portrait of life, American style.”—L’Express

“A love affair with America . . . told with precision, clarity, and warmth.”—France-Soir

“A Sentimental Education of the American South.”—Lu

“A grand risk, successfully realized . . . F. Scott Fitzgerald, French style. A splendid novel about a fragile, fugitive era.”—Magazine Litteraire

“The freshness of a first novel combined with nuanced reporting.”—Le Monde

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