From the terrace of her house, perched on the Hollywood Hills where scents of jasmine and eucalyptus float, Martine Couralet-Laing likes to contemplate the city which stretches as far as the eye can see before her. It’s been 25 years since the Frenchwoman fell in love with Los Angeles, where she followed her husband, an American film producer. In DreamLand, a first book to be published on October 17 by Lazare & Capucine, the one who worked in television paints the portrait of her City of Angels. A city populated by anonymous people and stars, somewhere between Hollywood, Malibu and Beverly Hills, where anything seems possible. A city whose folklore she chronicles, with a funny and tender pen, through a thousand true anecdotes punctuated with hilarious dialogues.
There’s this day, during a hike near Pacific Palisades, where she doesn’t recognize Tom Hanks and sends him packing while he’s making goo-goo to her baby; this other where she flies to the aid of a producer friend struggling with a tyrannical Pamela Anderson; there is this time when she had the immense Jacqueline Bisset rehearse her role, around a cup of tea, in the privacy of her Hollywood property… Alongside these light stories, more tragic episodes of the recent American history. The terrifying September 11, 2001, which froze Los Angeles in anguish, or the ordeal of South American migrants in search of a better life in the United States, reported by the young Josefina, his employee.
Martine Couralet-Laing kept these memories for years, and delighted her friends with them without foreseeing that they would give birth to a book. “ Everywhere I go, I always have little notebooks where I jot down anecdotes, stories, impressions. I don’t think we decide to write, it’s always been in us, and suddenly we start », she justifies. With DreamLand, she wanted “ pay homage to Los Angeles, a city often described as apocalyptic, close to the edge, full of clichés, by offering on the contrary a benevolent look, without judgment. » Which does not prevent him from humorously pinpointing the failings of Hollywood: excessive cosmetic surgery, the reign of Instagram, excessive luxury…
Chronicle of a way of life
Excesses that do not sum up the Californian lifestyle that has captivated Martine Couralet-Laing for 25 years. The diversity of cultures and opinions, respect for others, this positive state of mind… “ I like this optimism here, a little naive, but so contagiousshe enthuses. There is something historic there, in this new land where men arrived not so long ago. This feeling of endless expansion and possibility is always present. Here, we think big, we think broadly, there are no small calculations. It’s one of the things I love most about Los Angeles… That and the constant spring »she smiled.
A good vibe that she was able to capture in DreamLand. The author will introduce her book to the public on Thursday, September 21 during a meeting organized by the Alliance Française de San Diego. Registrations are open here ($15 for members, $20 for non-members). Other meetings are being prepared at the Alliance Française in Los Angeles in October, and at that of Pasadena on December 1st. DreamLand will be available in French bookstores from Tuesday October 17. Expats can order it in the United States without shipping costs via the online French bookstore Lireka. From California or France, a read to prolong the summer by plunging into the heart of a solar Los Angeles.