Paris was ours : thirty-two writers reflect on the city of light / edited by Penelope Rowlands
- Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2011.
- 1st ed.
- Physical Description:
- xvi, 279 pages ; 21 cm
- Additional Creators:
- Rowlands, Penelope
- Introduction : L'Arrivée -- L'Argent is no object / Véronique Vienne -- Learning French ways / Diane Johnson -- Becoming a Parisian / Walter Wells -- Love without reason / Caroline Weber -- Keep your distance / Samuel Shimon -- Friends of my youth / Joe Queenan -- Fledgling days / Valerie Steiker -- The tapeworm is in / David Sedaris -- My bookstore high / Jeremy Mercer -- Chantal's gift / Mark Gaito -- My day with Mr. D. / Alice Kaplan -- Parenting, French-style / Janine de Giovanni -- Deal with it / Patric Kuh -- Two Paris poems / C.K. Williams -- Understanding chic / Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni -- It's my home, that's all / Julie Lacoste -- Just another American / Janet McDonald -- Toward a politics of quality of life / Judith Warner -- Out of the revolution / Roxane Farmanfarmaian -- My literary Paris / Lily Tuck -- The tribulations of a Cuban girl in Paris / Zoé Valdés -- Montparnasse and beyond / Richard Armstrong -- Guillaume á Paris / Judith Thurman -- Ma vie bohéme -- Karen Schur -- A mild hell / Edmund White -- The sky is metallic / Alicia Drake -- In Franklin's footsteps / Stacy Schiff -- Litost / Brigid Dorsey -- La bourdonneuse / Noelle Oxenhandler -- Paris is gone, all gone / Marcelle Clements -- Enfin / David Lebovitz -- Le départ / Penelope Rowlands.
- "Paris is a great place to fall in love, to eat, drink, and be merry. But it's also the perfect city in which to be depressed or, even better, melancholy... You don't have to be French to smoke a Gitane and notice the falling leaves drifting by your window." --, "A cafe waiter is meant to do his job, but that job is most decidedly not to guarantee the satisfaction of his customer. Rather it is the customer's job to admire the professionalism of the waiter, the expertise with which he can flick a baguette crumb into oblivion." --, "You may neck at a cafe table, or perched on the rim of a fountain, or astride a balustrade, or pressed against a chestnut tree, or on a bench inside the children's playground, provided you have paid your entrance fee and have a child with you." --, "In the late fifteen hundreds my little neighborhood square was a popular spot for burning people alive. Now lined with a row of small shops, the tradition continues, though in a figurative rather than literal sense." --, "You can almost tell how long an American or English woman has been in Paris by whether she's wearing a scarf, only the most obvious sign that cultural reprogramming has begun." --, "Parisians approach parting with money as they do foreplay: with plenty of time to spare." --, "I knew already that living in Paris would not be like visiting Paris, but I hadn't appreciated what that really meant." --, Paris is "the world capital of memory and desire," concludes one of the writers in this intimate and insightful collection of memoirs of the city. Few places can draw in as many diverse souls and then mark them as profoundly as Paris does. These thirty-two writers describe how they were seduced by the city that Francine du Plessix Gray has called "that siren, Paris," and how, afterward, nothing was the same. --, Cuban novelist Zoe Valdes, who "yearned to seem as melancholy as Catherine Deneuve," documents her arrival from her impoverished native island and her subsequent transformation on the Paris art scene. Diane Johnson relates how fashion consciousness in the French capital "steals in on you like fog." Joe Queenan, living in Paris as a student, loses his glasses, can't afford a new pair, and is reduced to asking bespectacled young women on dates to the Comedie-Francaise---just so he can borrow theirs. --, Paris is unforgiving, unabashed, and unlike any other city in the world. Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni remembers being slapped, at age thirteen, by a Frenchman at the chateau de Versailles. For stepping on the grass! The outre cross-dressers of the Bois de Boulogne cause Stacy Schiff to alter her jogging route when her children are in tow. After observing entwined lovers on every bench in the Luxembourg Gardens, Judith Thurman contemplates the rules of conduct for displays of affection. (There are none, she determines.) And Mark Gaito is sure that "to be a writer you must come back to Paris." --, and In her introduction, editor Penelope Rowlands speaks for most of the writers in this enthralling collection when she professes, "We hated Paris and loved it all at once." These personal essays, more than half of which have never been published before, show intrepid men and women encountering a magnetic yet uncompromising place, one that changes them indelibly. As these memoirs prove, again and again, Paris stays with you forever. --Book Jacket.
- 9781565129535 (pbk.) and 1565129539 (pbk.)
- Source of Acquisition:
- UP-PAT copy: Purchased with funds from the Paterno Libraries Endowment; 2010.
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