Kevin Mulqueen: Le Mot juste

The High Window



Kevin Mulqueen was born in Reading, UK, but his blood is pure Irish. He has been teaching English for 48 years – in England, Egypt, Tanzania, Argentina, Venezuela, Ghana and now Vietnam. At 70, He’s still going strong. He is married to a Vietnamese woman and lives in Ho Chi Minh City. He is a chess fanatic (Tanzanian National Champion in 1991), devotee of blues and jazz music, bibliophile (Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, Brian Moore, Philip Larkin, Dick Francis, M.R. James and Jonathan Raban are among his favourites), vulcanophile (He’s climbed Tambora and Mt Mayon), traveller, writer (mainly of travel and nostalgia essays) and armchair sportsman (He loves football, cricket, tennis and boxing).



I first came across the phrase le mot juste at secondary school, when our French teacher, Mr Evans, used it in class. He said something along the lines of: ‘Il faut chercher le…

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