First Person

Hell, Not Heaven

When I was a child, I often used to wish I came from some other family. This is not an uncommon feeling in kids, who can easily become convinced that other people’s families are better and more interesting than the one they’ve been born into. In my case, though, I used to wish mine was less interesting. For a start, our parents were foreigners. And stiff-necked foreigners at that—we were exhorted never to forget we were French, we weren’t allowed to speak English at home, or at least not to our parents, and they had strict ideas about what children…

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