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Amour: How the French Talk about Love--Photographs and Stories

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From award-winning journalist and filmmaker Stefania Rousselle, a stunning collection of photographs and essays that seek to understand the universality of love Journalist and filmmaker Stefania Rousselle found herself overwhelmed and dejected with the horrors of the news after covering terrorist attacks, human trafficking, and the rise of extremism. To renew her faith in h From award-winning journalist and filmmaker Stefania Rousselle, a stunning collection of photographs and essays that seek to understand the universality of love Journalist and filmmaker Stefania Rousselle found herself overwhelmed and dejected with the horrors of the news after covering terrorist attacks, human trafficking, and the rise of extremism. To renew her faith in humanity, she took off on a solo road trip across France, determined to see if love still exists. Traveling from village to village, farming towns to industrial cities, heart to heart, Rousselle sought out ordinary women and men, all to ask them one question, What is love? Collecting more than 90 personal testimonies, each one moving and beautiful in its own way, alongside over 100 intimate photographs, Rousselle reveals the many facets of love, and discovers that love can still be found even in the darkest of places. From a baker in Normandy to a shepherd in the Pyrenees, from a tree trimmer in Martinique to a mail woman in the Alps, Amour is a visual testament to love in all its many forms.


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From award-winning journalist and filmmaker Stefania Rousselle, a stunning collection of photographs and essays that seek to understand the universality of love Journalist and filmmaker Stefania Rousselle found herself overwhelmed and dejected with the horrors of the news after covering terrorist attacks, human trafficking, and the rise of extremism. To renew her faith in h From award-winning journalist and filmmaker Stefania Rousselle, a stunning collection of photographs and essays that seek to understand the universality of love Journalist and filmmaker Stefania Rousselle found herself overwhelmed and dejected with the horrors of the news after covering terrorist attacks, human trafficking, and the rise of extremism. To renew her faith in humanity, she took off on a solo road trip across France, determined to see if love still exists. Traveling from village to village, farming towns to industrial cities, heart to heart, Rousselle sought out ordinary women and men, all to ask them one question, What is love? Collecting more than 90 personal testimonies, each one moving and beautiful in its own way, alongside over 100 intimate photographs, Rousselle reveals the many facets of love, and discovers that love can still be found even in the darkest of places. From a baker in Normandy to a shepherd in the Pyrenees, from a tree trimmer in Martinique to a mail woman in the Alps, Amour is a visual testament to love in all its many forms.

33 review for Amour: How the French Talk about Love--Photographs and Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Beth Bonini

    I read this book in an afternoon, and then I asked my daughter to read it. The next morning I spent an hour discussing it with my hairdresser, which led to the most profound conversation I’ve ever had whilst having my hair done. I used to think of reading as a primarily solitary experience; but lately, it has become more of a social one. This is the sort of book that I had to talk about in order to fully resolve how I felt about it. First of all, the title: deliberately misleading, I think, if o I read this book in an afternoon, and then I asked my daughter to read it. The next morning I spent an hour discussing it with my hairdresser, which led to the most profound conversation I’ve ever had whilst having my hair done. I used to think of reading as a primarily solitary experience; but lately, it has become more of a social one. This is the sort of book that I had to talk about in order to fully resolve how I felt about it. First of all, the title: deliberately misleading, I think, if one is expecting feel-good romance, but in the final analysis also appropriate. Love - ‘amour’ - is the author’s subject. In her Introduction, author Stefania Rousselle explains how her career as a video journalist meant that she covered the darkest, most violent spectrum of human experience. Hate, not love. The Bataclan concert massacre, followed by a period of closely monitoring France’s far-right party, the National Front, led to an emotional state that Roussell describes as ‘broken’ and heart-crushing. Her personal life was equally desperate, and she describes a relationship which constantly undermined her confidence and felt like ‘poison’. In a state close to despair, Roussell embarks on a project to see if she could find any evidence of love. What was it exactly? Did it exist? How many people actually experienced it? The book that came into being is a series of interviews presented as direct monologues. Each interview is accompanied by photos, which are striking in their simplicity, directness and mundanity. An extremely diverse cross-section of people are part of this conversation about love, but not one of them is remotely imaginable as a social media ‘influencer’. The English have a colloquial expression that ‘there’s nowt so queer as folk’, and this book is a reminder of how just how varied and, well, weird is the spectrum of human experience. So many of us seem to be striving for perfection all the time; well, here is a place that shines a very strong light on ‘warts and all’ imperfection. I was stunned, at times, by the honesty of the accounts. Roussell writes: ‘It was brutal. People were pure. They were raw.’ Yes, all of those words - but over and over again, what struck me most was the rawness. Simply, each person in the book talks a bit about their experiences with love. Some of the stories are in the romantic vein, but far more of them deal in the realm of disappointment and loss. I was struck mostly by two things: first, how profoundly lonely most people are; and second, how very few people, no matter how bitter their experience has been, ever totally lose their optimistic hope that love may still be possible for them. Roussell describes the subjects of her study as ‘brave’, and I wholeheartedly agree with that assessment as well. One of the reasons I read is a deep desire to want to know (and hopefully understand, if only partially) about human experiences very different from my own. This book does an admirable job of getting at the ‘heart’ of what makes relationships so difficult, whilst at the same time underscoring that the need to love and be loved is at the very core of human experience. It’s painful to read, at times, but oddly uplifting, too. Thanks to Viking Books UK for a copy of this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kathi Rauscher

    This is a beautiful book filled with lovely photographs. Love means different things to different people it is individual. This is a peek at what it means to some. The advanced reader was a condensed version of what the published work will be.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gaby B.

    Amour is a collection of stories. Stefania Rousselle has travelled all over France asking people she meets one thing: what is love? This book is their answer. Some are in relationships, some are single, some are straight, some are gay, some are young, some are old, but united together in this book, their answers are extremely powerful. Amour is not romantic, or idealised, it is raw, honest, and above all hopeful. Some of these people have been through so much but all of them believe in love in s Amour is a collection of stories. Stefania Rousselle has travelled all over France asking people she meets one thing: what is love? This book is their answer. Some are in relationships, some are single, some are straight, some are gay, some are young, some are old, but united together in this book, their answers are extremely powerful. Amour is not romantic, or idealised, it is raw, honest, and above all hopeful. Some of these people have been through so much but all of them believe in love in some shape or form and that was beautiful to read. I have a few favourites, a refugee from Pakistan, a grieving widower, a family, to name a few. The book is an extraordinary piece of work, I love the idea behind it, I love how simple it is, and I love the photos that accompany the stories and offer a peek into their different lives. This is a truly beautiful book. Thank you to Viking Books for my gifted copy.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Burger

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  6. 5 out of 5

    woody

  7. 4 out of 5

    CR

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia

  9. 5 out of 5

    Earnest

  10. 5 out of 5

    Roseann

  11. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

  12. 5 out of 5

    libraryfacts

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vesa Kamberi

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rita Leite

  15. 5 out of 5

    Helena

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stephen J.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Zeigler

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mónica López

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

  21. 4 out of 5

    Halcombe

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brady

  25. 4 out of 5

    Freya

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ava G - no longer a rainbow rowell stan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julia Taylor

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  29. 5 out of 5

    Judith Goodyear

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

  31. 5 out of 5

    Laure

  32. 4 out of 5

    Justine

  33. 4 out of 5

    Michele Reynolds

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