Playground for Misunderstanding
Published in 2013
Paris is steeped in the past, and many of its current conflicts arise like sparks from friction between the weight of tradition and the immediate demands of the present. While keeping a fast pace and entertaining tone, Playground for Misunderstanding asks questions that arise from this conflict: Who owns the public sphere today? Which is greater, corporate power or the state? How does technology interact with the law?
Wrapped in the form of a police thriller, the plot takes the reader along streets where Voltaire walked, now occupied by Zadig & Voltaire, and beheads a (somewhat) innocent man at the Place de la Concorde. This Paris past–Paris present rolls out on faultlines of understanding French and American, young and old, male and female. It’s up to Commandant Chastel to figure it all out.
Women of Valor: The Rochambelles on the WWII Front
Published in 2006 by Palgrave-Macmillan
The Rochambeau Group began in New York City, where Florence Conrad gathered donations and expatriates to form an ambulance corps in 1943. Conrad had been a volunteer driver in the First World War, and knew that the end of the second conflict would need willing hands as well. It wasn’t long into training in North Africa that the men of the 2nd Armored Division nicknamed the group the Rochambelles, a name that has stuck through today.
Alongside the soldiers, the Rochambelles endured the hard shocks of war, pounding artillery, grim injury and sudden death, and yet managed to offer solid emotional support to their demanding medical duties. They were brave when no one expected them to be. But when asked later about their war, they shrugged and insisted they had done nothing extraordinary. They were simply Rochambelles.
A Series in Progress, SEEKING REPRESENTATION
Behind the trappings of royal majesty and Renaissance glory, the stock of French historical tales, are the men and women of medieval power who brought France into being: landed barons with castles and militias and never-ending trouble on their hands; bishops balancing the interests of church and flock against their personal wealth; families whose losses in battle could mean the end of their noble line; peasants surviving only by wit and by stealth. No need to invent the stories, they were written by monks nearly a thousand years ago. In this series, historical figures follow the facts as we know them, with fictional motivations, conversations and deep romantic entanglements added to the mix.