Wings is a love story of France, a blend of travel writing and memoir that reveals the country's art, cuisine, history, and traditions through encounters with characters such as Winged Victory, Claude Monet, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Coco Chanel, and a mélange of writers, filmmakers, and friends. Erin Byrne goes deep to discover little-known aspects of French culture and by doing so, uncovers long-buried qualities of herself. She is transformed and her stories may transform you.“A reverie-inducing glimpse of past and present France.” —Phil Cousineau, author of The Book of Roads
Gathered wisely into your inner ground,
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.
Stone apostles frowned down over their curly beards, and I withered. Again and again, I had flown from the U.S. to France in an arc, but as organ music thundered from within, to step over the threshold into Notre Dame seemed a farther distance to travel. Something near scratched my nerves.
—Merriam-Webster Dictionary“I haven’t been a saint my whole life, but I have done this one thing.”
As we crossed the Champs d’Élysées, I looked past Rogier’s blond curls and the rumbling beast of traffic
By Erin Byrne
Dear Madame Renaud is the story of a woman in Normandy, France who eased the suffering of American families whose loved ones died during the Liberation of France. After she had been dead for over twenty years, she did the same for me.
She took on the grief of others. Six decades later,
—John O’Donohue, Anam Cara
A shell-shaped spiral emerged in my center when my child-eyes first beheld the rugged cove outside the cottage where I was born on the west coast of Ireland.