I’m so excited to share the mockup cover for Outsiders in France, the long awaited sequel to my first book. Like Newcomers in an Ancient Land, it’s part travelog and part self-exploration, but this time set France – with side trips to Algeria, Europe, the Balkans, and back to England where my twin sister and I were born. Though very different, my love of language, search for home, and quest for identity, animate both books.
Join me as I embrace the hardscrabble immigrant Jewish community of post-WWII Lyon, immersing myself yet again in a new language, culture, and cuisine. And (spoiler alert), narrowly avoid a harrowing brush with kidnapping. I’m hoping to post chapters as I pound them out in the coming months. Stay tuned!
About Paula Wagner
I was born in London to an English mother and Jewish American father. Together with my identical twin sister, I spent my first years crisscrossing the US as our parents searched for a place to call home. The ten-year road-trip was an exhilarating adventure of encountering new places and faces punctuated by inevitable grief of farewell. But those tumbleweed years must also have kindled my wanderlust.
Although I grew up in the US with English as my first language, I always knew I was from “somewhere else.” Spending most of my twenties as a new immigrant in Israel, as well as living in the French immigrant Jewish community reinforced my identity as a newcomer at heart. I’m still learning the lessons of my own search for home and belonging which has come to mean not so much a place on a map, as the enduring relationships formed on the journey.
I hold a BA in women’s studies, an MA in career development, along with languages studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. As the principal of LifeWork Careers for over twenty years, I have enjoyed helping hundreds of diverse clients pursue their own passions in life and work.
My husband and I share a blended family of four grown children, eight grandkids, and a far flung extended family beyond our current home in Albany, California. When I’m not practicing the art and craft of creative writing, I enjoy swimming, river rafting, yoga, singing, cooking, and traveling.