Footprints Through Time

We’ve known for many years that early humans arose in Africa, but not until recently has the decoding of DNA allowed us to trace the paths by which we became who we are today: to follow the footprints through time, via our genes, back from who we are in the present to our ancestors deep in the past.

Dj at 11My new work in progress, Footprints Through Time: A White Mother’s Search for Common Roots With Her Black Daughter, is an attempt to connect the dots through time between myself and my daughter, adopted in Mali, in hopes of converging on our most recent common mother, a woman who lived somewhere in Africa more than 100,000 years ago.

Meg BortinWhat excites me most about this search is its potential to demonstrate that, beyond differences of race and culture, we are all – literally – a family of humanity. I keep track of recent advances in human evolutionary genetics, anthropology and archeology that are relevant to our search via a blog on Facebook. Won’t you join us on our journey?

Previously by Meg Bortin …

Meet Mona Venture — my alter ego, who leaves America in the Vietnam era, moves to Paris, becomes a reporter, and goes on to Fleet Street and Gorbachev’s Russia. She’s the heroine of my independently published memoir, Desperate to Be a Housewife.

CoverMona’s misadventures with men unfold against a backdrop of historic events. She’s young, she’s modern and she’s desperate to solve a problem: how to reconcile her life as an independent woman with her dreams of happily-ever-after. You can read a short excerpt here, or purchase the book here.

Before writing Desperate, I was a journalist for many years with postings in Paris, London, Moscow and Manila. To check out some of the articles I’ve written, click here.

My first literary work was Dear Djeneba, an essay in an anthology on adoption published by Granta in 2005. As a blogger, I write regularly on French cuisine as The Everyday French Chef and occasionally on writing for various literary sites.

Praise for Desperate to Be a Housewife

‘Meg Bortin’s eventful memoir will surprise and amuse.’
Diane Johnson, author of Le Divorce

‘Tear gas and U.S. college riots in the ’60s, Paris and love in the ’70s, Gorbachev’s Moscow and Afghan missiles in the ’80s, Meg Bortin saw it all, did it all and wrote it all up, while enjoying serial love affairs and a lot of great meals along the way. More than a thrilling memoir, this is also an enthralling book about sex, love and the evolving challenges of being a woman in our time.’
Martin Walker, author of The Cold War: A History and the international best-selling Bruno, Chief of Police mystery novels

‘A wonderful page-turner of a memoir. Beautifully written, very moving and proof that Meg Bortin must get cracking on the next one.’
— Tony Barber of the Financial Times

‘I read this book in one sitting! It’s a terrific read – an involving picture of a very interesting period with a very attractive heroine.’
— Julia Watson, author of Russian Salad and American Pie

‘Meg Bortin’s adventures are passionate, full of tenderness and fun. I enjoyed every twist and turn and read the entire saga in one sitting.’
— Jim Haynes, author of Everything Is and Thanks for Coming

31 thoughts on “Footprints Through Time

  1. Meg, It was with great delight that I listened to you read chapters of your book
    this summer at the Writer Group in Les Halles. I will be at the bookstore on
    Friday night to buy a copy to enjoy again your life adventures, written with wit and style. There were many at the Group…I wrote about meeting the Maharani of Jaipur for a
    Lemon Squash! Happily, I found your Blog from Adriens site…a mutual
    Bisous, Marylouise

  2. Дорогая Мэг!
    Я надеюсь, что ты ещё помнишь русский. Я купил твою книгу a couple of days ago. I like it a lot! Congratulations! My favorite line so far (I’ve read 17% according to Kindle) is “and not even the joy of Watergate could make up for the absence of sex”.
    Anya congratulates you also.
    Vladimir Scheinker

    • Volodya, I am absolutely delighted to hear from you and to get your great feedback about my book! Thank you. You ask whether I remember my Russian. Of course! I even go back to Moscow from time to time. I hope you and Anya are well, and let’s stay in touch. All best, Meg

  3. Congratulions Meg – on your book (excellently written), on your life (never boring), on your daughter (true love) and on your food blog (pure delight).

  4. Congratulations! I just woke up in Arizona to your great news. Since I can’t be there to raise a glass in your honor, I did the next best thing…I bought the book! Amazon will have it here on Friday, and I’m sure I’ll spend the weekend deliciously absorbed in Mona’s adventures. I’m thrilled for you, Meg.

    • Thanks, Sally! As you know, you and the others in the writers’ group were a huge source of support for me in the last stages of this adventure. I only wish you were here in Paris so we could clink glasses together. xx

  5. Ma chère Meg,
    Je suis fier se te dire en français le plaisir que j’éprouve à apprendre que ton livre paraît enfin! Quand boirons nous ensemble le pot de sortie ( qui sera l’occasion pour moi de me procurer ton autobiographie et de me faire dédicacer le livre) ? En feras-tu une traduction française ?
    Gros Bizzzouxxx
    Claude David Ben Sahel Ben Cohen Solal

    • Paul, thank you. As you know, your experience in independent publishing was an inspiration to me! All best, and please get in touch when you come to Paris.

  6. Ma chère Meg,
    I’m so happy for you, so proud of you, so impressed by you … I loved the press reviews and I’ll be thrilled to read your book.
    I’m also jealous because I’m still far from having completed my own book: portraits of the great (and not so great) leaders that I encountered through 40 years of foreign reporting.
    Avec Elke, nous venons à Paris le 15 décembre, en route pour la Noël en Tunisie où mon fils Antoine, après dix ans dans l’ex URSS, est correspondant de l’AFP. Nous te téléphonerons.
    Bravo, bravo, bravo !!!!!!!!

  7. Congratulations on the release of your new book. Will be ordering it as soon as I get back to Cambridge today. I sure it will be a fascinating read. Christine x x 🙂

  8. Enjoyed your article in the IHT (sept 28-29) on “Dinde a la Rockwell.”
    If you try Georges Blanc’s Recipe for Pumpkin Gratin (the proportions thereof), would love to hear about it. (We live in the southwest between Toulouse and Carcassonne, by the way.)

    Meanwhile, there is a recipe for Butternut Squash at Epicurious which is great: Just cubes of squash, cream and parmesan cheese baked in a hot oven.
    Bon appetit! Sally

    • Thanks for the tip! And as for the Georges Blanc recipe, I will be posting it before the end of this month on my culinary web site, The Everyday French Chef ( All best, Meg

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