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Press Release: French Boy / A 1950s Franco-American Childhood by Denis Ledoux

NOTE: You are invited to the book launch for French Boy! The links to attend live or via Zoom are at the end of this press release.

Re: French Boy / A 1950s Franco-American Childhood / Denis Ledoux, Soleil Press, 2024, 345 pages, photos, $19.95.

Contact: [email protected]

Release date: October 16, 2023

french boy book cover

“It was a surprise for me to discover as a child that French was not the majority language in Maine, let alone the US,” recalls Denis Ledoux of his Franco-American boyhood in his new memoir French Boy / A 1950s Franco-American Childhood. “I came to realize that my language and culture were marginal and not appreciated by the larger society.”

In French Boy, Ledoux explores what it meant to him to be born outside the dominant culture and language. This memoir is sure to provoke discussion and not always agreement.

“I was very interested in exploring the dynamics of my Franco community—not as an academician but as a person whose life was shaped by the joys and frictions of the Franco life. Our experience is one of incorporating loss and fashioning a new identity. ”

The Story of a Generation via this Franco-American boyhood

French Boy / A 1950s Franco-American Childhood chronicles the life of a Maine boy from 1947 through to 1960. “Born in Lewiston, a small industrial Maine city and then raised on a farm, Denis Ledoux’s life is typical of many Maine Franco men and women of his generation, and as such,” according to David Soucy, Marketing Assistant at The Memoir Network, “it is an important addition to our understanding of one of Maine’s ethnic communities—and the USA’s—in the last century.”

“Memoirs such as my French Boy,” continues Ledoux, “are ones of overlooked details, of information often thought to be marginal and so too frequently lost to history.  A basic function of memoir is to give witness to a time and to values gone by, and French Boy succeeds admirably at this function, transcending the life of the individual who is its subject. This story is bigger than me. My Franco-American boyhood is the story of a generation.”

In 1990, Ledoux’s short story collection, Mountain Dance and Other Stories, won the Maine Arts Commission’s Fiction Award. In both 1992 and 1996, he won Individual Writing Fellowships from the Maine Arts Commission. In addition, he has been helping people to write memoirs since 1988 via the Memoir Network. In 1996, the Association of Personal Historians named him Personal Historian of the Year.

Ledoux’s interest in writing beyond family has created a record of a community that was once called the “unassimilable ethnics.” In French Boy, he writes about his generation’s amnesia as to its history and culture. He has studded this remarkable memoir with historical information that will explain much about Franco-America to both Francos and non-Francos.

 “My personal and family story is a sort of trellis through which I have intertwined Franco-American boyhood and American history,” said Ledoux. “French Boy is only partially a personal story. More than that, it is a slice of history.”

Soleil Press is the publishing arm of The Memoir Network which helps people to chronicle their lives via memoir writing. The network has assisted thousands of individuals to start and complete memoirs.

The book is available through The Memoir Network, 95 Gould Road, Lisbon Falls, Maine 04252, through

Please share this information on your social media platforms. We appreciate all the help you can give to French Boy.

An invitation to the book launch on October 16, 2023

If you live in commuting distance from Lewiston please come. If you would like to follow the launch on Zoom, you can do that, too.

Click here for information on how to attend the book launch!



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