All Things French

A series of free Zoom meetings on French life, culture, history and language

with Pamela Druckerman, author, journalist and founder of PANDEMONIUM U


No registration required. For this event, no email/contact information is required of participants, or is collected by the hosts/organizers or by 3rd parties for follow-on solicitations.


These are free events with no strings attached!

Friday 13 November- 12pm

Why people in a few French villages rescued refugees in WWII, and still help migrants today?

with writer & performer Maggie Paxson,

singing and in conversation with Pamela Druckerman

During WWII, residents of a cluster of villages in Southeastern France gave safe harbor to hundreds of strangers – mostly Jewish children, some of whose parents had been deported. These villagers risked everything to create schools, soup kitchens and hiding places for the kids. Current residents of the same villages offer refuge to migrants today.


Why? Is this a fluke of history or something more? What are the traits that make a group choose selflessness?

Maggie Paxson - a writer, anthropologist and singer – was determined to find out. She unravels the mystery in her acclaimed new book The Plateau (finalist for the American Library in Paris Book Award, a Best Book of the Year by Bookpage; Oprah magazine calls it "radiant"). Maggie joins PANDEMONIUM U for a blend of songs and talk, to discuss her family, her findings, and the resonances with today. 
Maggie Paxson is also the author of Solovyovo, a study of magic, ritual, and social memory in a remote Russian village. Fluent in Russian and French, she holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Montreal. She performs as a singer with the Imperial Palms Orchestra, one of the East Coast's leading big bands, featuring music of the 1920s through the 1940s, and runs sing-along solo concerts of WWII music called "The Bomb Shelter Café.” She lives in Washington, DC.

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