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Mary Duncan
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Mary Duncan, the founder and director of the Paris Writers Group, has lived in Paris since 2001. She is the author of a memoir Henry Miller Is Under My Bed and is currently writing a book about a street in Paris where several French literary figures lived and worked. In her "life before Paris," she was a professor at San Diego State University, an expert on terrorism, the Irish Republican Army and the author of numerous articles. Her Ph.D. dissertation was based on research in Belfast. She has lectured at Oxford University, the Smithsonian Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars and has been frequently interviewed on national radio and television news programs. She spends the winter months in her writing studio at the El Cortez in San Diego.

Entries by Mary Duncan

A French Village Says Farewell to Jean-Jacques Pauvert

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 7:44 PM

More than a hundred friends and family gathered on a bright, sunny day in Le Rayol's city hall to say farewell to Jean-Jacques Pauvert, the iconic French publisher, who died on September 27, 2014. He was 88 years old.

In the late 1940's, he purchased fifteen acres...

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Wartime Hotels

(2) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 11:01 AM

Behind the beautiful brochures and websites that describe the amenities of glamorous hotels, there are often stories that involve scandals, death, illicit love, foreign intrigue and espionage. Wars and political strife escalate the range of possibilities.

During the "troubles" in the summer of 1974, a bomb exploded in downtown...

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Jean-Jacques Pauvert Follows Hugh Hefner to the Altar

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 11:51 AM

Following the publication of my recent article, "Hugh Hefner and Jean-Jacques Pauvert Celebrate Their 88th Birthdays," I received an email from Pauvert and Brigitte Lozerec'h, which said Pauvert was "pleased and amused" by the article which showed the controversial parallels between the two men's lives. Pauvert had published the Marquis...

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Hugh Hefner and Jean-Jacques Pauvert Celebrate Their 88th Birthdays

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 5:16 PM

Hugh Hefner and Jean-Jacques Pauvert have more in common than just their birthdays. They challenged and helped change the censorship and pornography laws in America and France.

2014-04-02-JeanJaquesPrevert.jpeg Pauvert, who published the Marquis de Sade's Juliette when he was in his twenties,...

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Love, Fidelity and Sex: French Style

(39) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 9:39 AM

When Americans move to France, they frequently find the French have different attitudes towards dating, love, romance, fidelity and sex. Marilyn Yalom, the author of How the French Invented Love: 900 Years of Passion and Romance, answered questions and responded to the following conversation between two lovers.

After a...

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Filner: Have I Been in France Too Long?

(2) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 1:38 PM

At last count, 16 women have accused Bob Filner, the Mayor of San Diego, of inappropriate sexual behavior. They and others want him recalled.

San Diego is my hometown so I care about this issue. But as I look at these issues from France, I can't but...

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Paris Police Bust Beloved Street Artist

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 2:26 PM

Recently, I received distressing news. Fred Le Chevalier, a Paris street artist known for his simple but elegant stencils, was busted by the Paris Police this past week. "Paris Play", a popular blog, spread the word. (Click here).

Fred, who is rapidly becoming a populist artist, has...

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Iconic Whaling Bar in La Jolla to Close

(7) Comments | Posted January 2, 2013 | 9:55 AM

Must all good things really come to an end? I'm beginning to believe it's true.

In 1982, when I purchased an apartment overlooking the gardens and swimming pool of the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, I also acquired access to their pool and hot tub ($20 tip to...

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Venture Capital Comes to the Theater: An Interview With Jennifer Wilson

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2012 | 6:38 PM

When I first met Jennifer Wilson at a dinner party in my Paris apartment, I knew she had helped save a house in Hailey, Idaho, which was Ezra Pound's birthplace. Saving his home was an easy battle when compared to her struggle to raise $20 million dollars to create a...

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Stars Party in Paris for Obama

(3) Comments | Posted October 5, 2012 | 7:47 PM

Paris Fashion Week provided the excuse to party and party we did. On October 1, Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, hosted a fundraising event for Obama.

The Obama Victory Fund was good at keeping secrets. When 150 donors paid from $2,500 to $10,000 each to attend...

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Why Isn't the Statue of Liberty More Sexy?

(0) Comments | Posted September 14, 2012 | 3:47 PM

Last July, when I walked into the elegant Musee d'Orsay for the dedication ceremony of the newly restored Statue of Liberty, I was not aware of the controversy surrounding her beauty. She stands in the main nave greeting visitors as her larger sister still greets them in NYC. This smaller...

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How I Retired Early And Moved To Paris

(2) Comments | Posted August 13, 2012 | 3:47 PM

When I was 7-years-old, my wise grandmother gave me some advice. "Mary," she said, "If you buy property when you are young, you can have anything you want when you are old." At that age, all I could think about was an unlimited amount of ice cream and beautiful illustrated...

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