Belfort & Bastion


Et Voilà, One Traveler’s Journey from Foreigner to Francophile — Jennifer Crystal

Belfort & Bastion is delighted to announce the publication of Jennifer Crystal's wonderful new memoir, ET VOILÀ, One Traveler’s Journey from Foreigner to Francophile.

Part travel writing, part coming of age story, part insightful meditation on life, Et Voilà tells the story of Ms. Crystal's year in Paris in the final year of the twentieth century. Detailing everything from her first glimpse of the city of light (alarmingly dark and desolate) to her first French dinner (four hours long and five stacks of crêpes wide), the book offers a unique spin on travel memoir.  While many people have written about falling in love in Paris, Et Voilà is about falling in love with Paris, a non-traditional romance that touches on universal themes of coming-of-age and self-discovery.

"The first time I saw the Eiffel Tower lit up at night," notes Ms. Crystal, "I watched in awe as hundreds of bulbs flashed inside the monument just before midnight… counting down the days until the new millennium. A Frenchman standing nearby said, simply, 'Et voilà,' …and there you have it. It was a vast understatement, yet also a very Parisian thing to say. I realized it was also the perfect metaphor for the place, the time, the city, and for the way in which my life intersected with all three."

Et Voilà is now available on Amazon at and in ebook form at

Jennifer Crystal lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She holds a M.F.A. from Emerson College, where she was a Dean's Fellow, and a B.A. in English/Creative Writing and French from Middlebury College. Jennifer specializes in travel writing and narrative medicine, and her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, (T)here: Musings on Returnings (Martlet & Mare, 2014), Spry Literary Journal, Transitions Abroad, Abroad View, Wilton Magazine, Middlebury Magazine, and (Boston's NPR station). She sometimes still dreams in French. Her website is

Cities Of Light, Cities Of Stone, by Michael Jay Tucker.

Part travel writing, part personal essay, and part neo-jeremiad, Cities is Michael Jay Tucker's compelling meditation on the fate of modern America using New Mexico as a guide. On one hand, he lovingly paints us a portrait of the New Mexico he adores. The state genuinely is "the Land of Enchantment," he tells us, breathtakingly in its beauty and fascinating in its history.

But, on the other hand, Tucker says, the area's colonization by Europeans is "a tale of repeated disasters," as social elites constantly failed to understand what was possible in an unforgiving land with limited resources. Time and time again, he says, that willful ignorance led to "total systemic collapse."

Kindle Edition: Cities Of Light, Cities Of Stone

Salem's Bane: Witches, Sea-Kings, and the Problem of Postindustrial America, by Michael Jay Tucker

from Salem's Bane:

"There genuinely is something kind of spooky about Salem's history. Its economic fortunes rise and fall with weird regularity, as though each time it struggles up and comes near lasting wealth, something ...sinister...seems to intervene.

"Call it Salem's Bane.

"In the pages that follow I will use Salem as a metaphor for nothing less than America.

"In all its curses and blessings."

Kindle Edition: Salem's Bane
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