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Extended Audio Sample My Paris Dream: An Education in Style, Slang, and Seduction in the Great City on the Seine Audiobook, by Kate Betts Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kate Betts Narrator: Kate Betts Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2015 ISBN: 9781101913215
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A charming and insightful memoir about coming of age as a fashion journalist in 1980s Paris, by former Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar editor Kate Betts, the author of Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style

“You can always come back,” my mother said. “Just go.”


As a young woman, Kate Betts nursed a dream of striking out on her own in a faraway place and becoming a glamorous foreign correspondent. After college—and not without trepidation—she took off for Paris, renting a room in the apartment of a young BCBG (bon chic, bon genre) family and throwing herself into the local culture. She was determined to master French slang, style, and savoir faire, and to find a job that would give her a reason to stay.

After a series of dues-paying jobs that seemed only to reinforce her outsider status, Kate’s hard work and willingness to take on any assignment paid off: Her writing and intrepid forays into la France Profonde—true France—caught the eye of John Fairchild, the mercurial fashion arbiter and publisher of Women’s Wear Daily, the industry’s bible. Kate’s earliest assignments—investigating the mineral water preferred by high society, chasing after a costumed band of wild boar hunters through the forests of Brittany—were a rough apprenticeship, but she was rewarded for her efforts and was initiated into the elite ranks of Mr. Fairchild’s trusted few who sat beside him in the front row and at private previews in the ateliers of the gods of French fashion. From a woozy yet mesmerizing Yves Saint Laurent and the mischievous and commanding Karl Lagerfeld to the riotous, brilliant young guns who were rewriting all the rules—Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, John Galliano—Betts gives us a view of what it was like to be an American girl, learning about herself, falling in love, and finding her tribe.

Kate Betts’s captivating memoir brings to life the enchantment of France—from the nightclubs of 1980s Paris where she learned to dance Le Rock, to the lavender fields of Provence and the grand spectacle of the Cour Carrée—and magically re-creates that moment in life when a young woman discovers who she’s meant to be.

Praise for My Paris Dream

“[A] glittering coming-of-age tale.”Entertainment Weekly (The Must List)

“Fashion and self-examination—froth and wisdom—might seem like odd bookfellows, but Betts brings them together with winning confidence.”The New York Times Book Review

“As light and refreshing as an ice cream cone from the legendary Berthillon, My Paris Dream evokes the sights, sounds, smells and styles of 1980s Paris.”—USA Today

My Paris Dream is awesome.”—Man Repeller

“What was Bett’s Paris dream? Her dream was her awakening, [which] is elegantly chronicled in these pages.”—The Daily Beast

“For those who are interested in the men and women involved in haute couture, Betts’ reminiscences will be a delight.”Kirkus Reviews

“Full of slangy French, delectable food and swoon-worthy fashion.”BookPage

“An amazing story of a young woman in Paris trying to break into the fashion business.”—Sophia Amoruso, author of #GIRLBOSS
 
“Kate Betts’s story brought me back to my own young self and the journey I made—in my case, from a small town in Illinois to New York City.”—Cindy Crawford


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • What an entertaining read this is! This is a paeon not only to the City of Light but to the pleasures—and perils—of following your heart. Elizabeth Berg, author of The Dream Lover
  • Full of slangy French, delectable food and swoon-worthy fashion. BookPage
  • [A] glittering coming-of-age tale. Entertainment Weekly (The Must List)
  • For those who are interested in the men and women involved in haute couture, Betts’ reminiscences will be a delight. Kirkus Reviews
  • An amazing story of a young woman in Paris trying to break into the fashion business as a journalist, My Paris Dream is a fun read. Kate Betts’s trajectory of inventing herself is uniquely her own but incredibly universal as well. Sophia Amoruso, author of #GIRLBOSS
  • With beauty, poignancy, and stirring precision, Kate Betts describes what it means to come into your own by going far from home. My Paris Dream is a valentine to a city, a language, and the thrills and confusions of young love and young ambition. But, even more so, it’s a tribute to style itself. Betts has all the elements—grace, humor, humanity, wisdom. What a gift that she has shared them in these delightful pages. Meghan Daum, author of The Unspeakable
  • Kate Betts’s story brought me back to my own young self and the journey I made—in my case, from a small town in Illinois to New York City. She’s captured that youthful fearlessness and the romantic impulse we have to strike out and find ourselves—through work that inspires us, through friendships that sustain us, and through heartbreaks that help us learn about our deepest desires. This is an enchanting, magical memoir. Cindy Crawford
  • When I first met Kate I was wowed by her intellect and dazzled by her style—I idolized her. Now that I’ve read her brilliant and stylish memoir of her early years breaking into fashion, it is clear to me that Paris was the catalyst that turned her into the woman she was always meant to be. And this is her unforgettable story. Stacy London
  • We all have our own Paris, wherever it is—the place that made us who we are—and this is Kate Betts’s: vintage late 1980s, effortlessly stylish, a little gritty, and seductive as hell. My Paris Dream is a coming-of-age story that crackles with brilliantly drawn, larger-than-life characters, fashion-world intrigue, and a hint of bittersweet nostalgia. Luke Barr, author of Provence, 1970
  • [Kate Betts] shares her coming-of-age in a self-assured book that should be given to every college senior with a Doisneau poster (or Chanel ad) on her wall. . . . Fashion and self-examination—froth and wisdom—might seem like odd bookfellows, but Betts brings them together with winning confidence. . . . Young worshipers of Paris—and of fashion magazines—are in for an education. Those of us who’ve been there and back will find it entertaining and sneakily poignant reading on the flight to Charles de Gaulle. The New York Times Book Review
  • As light and refreshing as an ice cream cone from the legendary Berthillon, My Paris Dream evokes the sights, sounds, smells and styles of 1980s Paris. USA Today
  • My Paris Dream is awesome. Man Repeller
  • What was Bett’s Paris dream? Her dream was her awakening, [which] is elegantly chronicled in these pages. The Daily Beast
     
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
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About the Author

Kate Betts has been covering the world of style for twenty years, most recently as a contributing editor at Time and also as the editor of Time Style & Design. The youngest person ever to serve as editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar, she was also the fashion news director at Vogue and the Paris bureau chief of Women’s Wear Daily. Betts lives in New York City with her husband Chip Brown and their two children.