On weeknight evenings in a gracious, oak-lined room, a group of eager francophones gathers under the tutelage of Jacqueline Coumans. Comprising students at varying levels of proficiency, the class takes the reading of French literature as the raw material for improving fluency.
Essays, novels, and plays are all in the syllabus; authors include Maupassant, Camus, Marguerite Duras, Romain Gary, Patrick Modiano, and Yasmine Reza.
Coumans, like so many of her countrymen, is an irrepressible hostess who embellishes each session with a bottle of good red wine and homemade amuse-gueule. Weeknight evenings with Coumans are as much salon as classe: the conversation is vivid and wide-ranging and passionate, the participants engaged and curious and deeply inspired by their teacher.
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