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A Salon at the Algonquin

I was invited to a salon at the Algonquin to celebrate Alexander Lobrano's book, "Hungry for Paris; The Ultimate Guide to the City's 102 Best Restaurants." Though the book was published in the US by Random House last April, has been translated into several languages, and has been reviewed well, Lobrano is still publicizing the book at every opportunity. This is the writer's task even if an in-house publicist has been budgeted.

But this author is more than a publicity machine; he is an inspiration. The European correspondent for GOURMET Magazine, Alexander Lobrano has made a writer's life for himself that is both personally satisfying and financially viable. His early childhood was spent in a literary household in Connecticut. Lobrano always knew he would be a writer but he still had to work hard to become a writer. He is well educated but also an autodidact. Recently, he went on an anthropological eating tour of Transylvania for GOURMET. When I asked how he prepared for assignments, he said, "I read until my eyes drop out. It's the preparation for the articles I write that is most enjoyable." Unable to speak French when he first landed in Paris, he is now fluent in French, Spanish and Italian.

I've invited Mr. Lobrano to speak to my class next spring. As he travels so much of the time, he's not sure he'll be in the US. I hope so.
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