When I tell people I was brought up in Paris, many have a mistaken idea of a very romantic upbringing! Naturally, the truth was very different. I grew up in the Saine-Saint-Denis department, in an ugly concrete block of apartments.
My family were one of the few native-born French in our neighbourhood, and there were many immigrants. My mother and I (my father had gone off with another woman) lived in a two-bedroom apartment in a block where most of the other occupants were of North African origin.