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Marcia DeSanctis
Marcia DeSanctis is the New York Times bestselling author of 100 PLACES IN FRANCE EVERY WOMAN SHOULD GO (Travelers’ Tales, November 2014). She is a former television news producer who has worked for Barbara Walters, ABC, CBS, and NBC News. An award-winning essayist, Marcia’s work has appeared in numerous publications including Vogue, Marie Claire, Town & Country, O the Oprah Magazine, More, Tin House, BBC Travel, Departures, and The New York Times. Her travel stories have been widely anthologized, including four consecutive years in Best Woman’s Travel Writing, and she is the recipient of four Lowell Thomas Awards for excellence in travel journalism for her essays from Rwanda, Russia, France and Haiti, as well as a Solas Award for best travel writing. She holds a degree from Princeton University in Slavic Languages and Literature and a Masters in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Entries by Marcia DeSanctis

Why Women Love France

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 8:04 AM

Last year, months before I knew I would be writing a book about France for Travelers' Tales, a publisher in Palo Alto, I was explaining to a friend why I, let's say, strongly encouraged my daughter to study French. For me it was simple. "Every girl should live...

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So You're Turning 50. Relax and Enjoy the Cake

(27) Comments | Posted April 18, 2013 | 8:05 AM

On an evening last May, my friend and I sat in one of the plushest bars in Manhattan sipping white orchid Martinis, a prohibitively expensive drink we indulge in when there is something to celebrate. This time, it was her 47th birthday, and while I set out to toast her...

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On the Road in Rwanda

(1) Comments | Posted November 17, 2011 | 11:40 AM

Heading out of the university town of Huye, which is still known by its former name of Butare, a taxi winds along a wet and rugged road past banana groves and coffee trees. Thirty minutes later, our jostled crew arrives in the town of Karama, high on a rainslicked hill,...

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On the Road in Haiti

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2011 | 2:22 PM

In the far-flung town of Thiotte, located in the sliver of rainforest still left in Haiti, women in pastel-colored kerchiefs sit at outdoor tables piled high with pale dried Arabica coffee beans. Their hands move rapidly, picking out the blighted or damaged ones, which they toss into a separate plastic...

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Airports, Security, Titanium and Lingerie

(26) Comments | Posted November 20, 2010 | 8:16 AM

Just in time for the holidays, new revelations about airport patdowns have suddenly sparked the nation's ire. As if travelling in the era of Al-Qaeda isn't odious enough, now we're obliged to toss our downsized toiletries if they're not in a one-quart Ziploc. We're herded along the conveyor belt, forced...

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President Expectation

(5) Comments | Posted June 16, 2010 | 1:13 PM

In his address this evening, the president came across neither as an empath nor a hothead -- both characteristics that critics have been calling for, loudly, since the beginning of this disaster in the Gulf. Yes, his attempts at optimism come across as somewhat boilerplate. And no, he didn't lash...

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On Being from Massachusetts

(3) Comments | Posted January 24, 2010 | 3:57 PM

Forget Texas. Massachusetts is the largest state in the nation. Sometimes, events can bring this into focus, most notably when the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots won consecutive, simultaneous, "world" championships. In 2007 and 2008 - sportswise - nowhere else mattered. Likewise in 1972. Who can forget the omnipresent bumper...

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Thinking of a Haitian Man Named Junior

(1) Comments | Posted January 18, 2010 | 1:32 PM

Long before the earthquake demolished what was left of parts of Haiti, the country's destitution could be seen from the air. Juxtaposed beside the green Dominican Republic, which occupies the other half of the island of Hispaniola, Haiti appears as a barren wasteland, a real-time before and after shot demarcated...

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What We Can Do To Honor This One Soldier's Death

(8) Comments | Posted October 24, 2009 | 7:12 PM

Throughout the history of war in this country, fallen soldiers have returned home to be buried, and then honored by ordinary Americans every Memorial Day. Morris, a one-stoplight town in northwest Connecticut, has a small parade each year. Before the music starts and the marching begins, the few remaining war...

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If Caster Were Your Child

(25) Comments | Posted August 21, 2009 | 5:01 PM

The parents of Caster Semenya themselves deserve gold medals. They were the picture of poise and dignity in the face of this controversy that has thrown their daughter into one of the most humiliating public scandals in recent memory. They should have been enjoying their daughter's moment of triumph and...

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Age, Writing and Workshops

(5) Comments | Posted July 30, 2009 | 11:53 AM

Any idea that I was still a young woman was temporarily dispelled the first few days of the annual Tin House Writers Conference at Reed College in Portland Oregon. Organized by the cutting edge literary magazine of the same name, Tin House provides a crash course in writing for writers...

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The Tamiflu in the Closet

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2009 | 12:05 PM

The topic of swine flu is getting nudged from the front page by stories that are actually and quantifiably big. For the moment, the networks are shedding the bold graphics and thriller-movie music that underlines the fact that this news story is going to frighten us to the core. Presumably...

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Why We Pay Attention to Piracy

(39) Comments | Posted April 10, 2009 | 12:50 AM

It is the often the nature of a national security challenge that a government does not have the luxury to prepare specifically for the event that causes the crisis to escalate. But the hostage drama in the Horn of Africa was particularly jarring, coming as it did on the heels...

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The Pope Reiterates Stance on Condoms and Loses Another Lapsed Catholic

(26) Comments | Posted March 20, 2009 | 9:07 AM

As a Catholic who lapsed in high school, only Lent has the power to draw me back in. I was raised to eat fish on Fridays and to give up an earthly pleasure in emulation of the ultimate sacrifice (my annual ritual was to forego candy) for the forty days...

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Time to Do Away with "Best" as an Email Sign-Off

(10) Comments | Posted March 3, 2009 | 11:20 AM

In the hierarchy of email signoffs, by far the worst is 'Best'. Maybe it's just me, but nothing displays contempt more succinctly, or says "Leave me the hell alone from this point forward," as concisely as this most reviled of four-letter words. Here's the other encrypted message hidden in this...

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Phelps on Camera, or All is Public, Nothing is Fair

(2) Comments | Posted February 6, 2009 | 3:45 PM

Sometimes a big news story can open up fresh public discussion on perennially intractable issues, and the Michael Phelps pot-smoking debacle has done just that. The photograph of him has stirred up, once again, discussion of the need for de-criminalization of marijuana, the elevation of athletes as role models (and...

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In Senegal too, a Day of Change

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2009 | 9:49 PM

There was no dancing in the street, but there was rapt attention, and high-fives with big grins for me, one of the few Americans on Gorée Island today. Obama tee-shirts were everywhere, the one with the President in Ray-Bans. The scene in Washington was playing out in real time on...

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It's January -- Where Do the Cards Go?

(7) Comments | Posted January 5, 2009 | 6:08 PM

It is the first week of January. If you had a Christmas tree, perhaps like me, you took yours down this past weekend. The paper towel-roll angel, my son's pre-school holiday project, is wrapped in her special tissue for another year. The lights are coiled around a Rolling Stone magazine...

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Revisiting the "Clash of Civilizations"

(12) Comments | Posted December 31, 2008 | 8:51 AM

This week, big minds are mourning the passing of the great Harvard historian Samuel Huntington, who died December 27 at the age of 81. Among the terms he added to the lexicon, academic and otherwise is "clash of civilizations."

This thesis has resonated deeply, if unconsciously, into the American...

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Cars: If "Buy American" Were History

(191) Comments | Posted December 14, 2008 | 7:17 AM

Two years ago, while shopping for a new car, my father's conviction to buy American played daily in my head. For him, buying a U.S.-made car is dogma - an incontrovertible matter of principle that even sub-par road performance (often unrecognized in a non-car person) or the arrival of...

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