4 Books: Lauren Collins, author of When in French

When in French

In 4 Books, we ask an author to answer 4 questions on the books that made them — on those books that made a significant impact at distinct junctures of their lives.

It might be the book that guided them through a break up, the one that they press urgently into a friends’ hand, the book that best articulates love, or the book that opened up the world in a startling new way.

Reading has a unique power to universalise the most private of experiences, and the books we turn to can reveal more about ourselves than we think. In 4 Books, we use literature to glimpse the inner life of our authors.

Our guest today is Lauren Collins, who began working at the New Yorker in 2003 and became a staff writer in 2008. Since 2010, she has been based in Europe, covering stories from London, Paris, Copenhagen, and beyond.

Her funny and thoughtful memoir, When in French considers how language shapes our lives, from how we think, to how we fall in love, and what happens when two languages, and two very different cultures, collide.

You can buy the book here.

Listen to an array of our podcasts on the 4th Estate Soundcloud Channel, including interviews with Andrew Marr, Decca Aitkenhead and Joanna Blythman.

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