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  • Published: 1 October 2004
  • ISBN: 9781740513739
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $22.99

A Year in the Merde




Self-published in France, and a subsequent bestseller, the hilarious story of a year in the life of a young Englishman abroad.

There are lots of French people who are not at all hypocritical, inefficient, aggressive, arrogant, adulterous or incredibly sexy. They just didn’t make it into this book ...
A YEAR IN THE MERDE is the almost-true account of a year in the life of Brit expat, Stephen Clarke.
Inspired partly by the culture shock on his arrival in Paris in September 2002, and partly by the enviable sales figures of Peter Mayle’s “A Year in Provence”, Stephen started keeping a diary of his hilarious experiences chez the French. As The Guardian newspaper reported, Stephen printed several hundred copies in his garage to send to friends, just for fun. Within a few weeks, however, his parodic novel became a word of mouth must have book in Paris and in some bookstores, outsold Clinton’s memoirs.
The story of a 27-year-old lad, a cross between Hugh Grant and David Beckham who is hired to open a tearoom in Paris, Clarke recounts everything from the perils of slippery dog poo (650 Parisians hospitalised per year) to a deconstruction of extravagant lingerie. The best way to find an apartment in Paris? Get a French girlfriend and move in. The French way to treat a cold? Use a suppository. The French national sport? Going on strike.
This is a laugh-out-loud tale of the pleasures and perils of being a foreigner in France and why the entente may never be quite as cordiale as we would like it.

  • Published: 1 October 2004
  • ISBN: 9781740513739
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Stephen Clarke

Dr Stephen Clarke is a history graduate of the University of Otago and the University of New South Wales. His long-time interest has been the social and cultural impact of war on New Zealand society with expertise in the observance of Anzac Day. After two years as Historian with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Dr Clarke joined the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association in 2001 to work on national projects and later public relations. As Chief Executive he led the strategic transformation and rebrand of the RSA between 2008 and 2013. This was followed by a year at the Royal British Legion in London, where as the first Head of Remembrance he oversaw the start of the First World War Centenary programme. He is an independent historian and founding director of Making History Ltd.

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Praise for A Year in the Merde

‘Merde turns to gold!’ The Guardian

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