Paris Was Ours

Thirty-two Writers Reflect on the City of Light

Penelope Rowlands,

Paris Was Ours: Thirty-two Writers Reflect on the City of Light
 
 
Thirty-two essays—many never before published—of life in Paris from writers who were drawn by the city’s charms to take up residence there.

In thirty-two personal essays, more than half of which are published here for the first time, authors describe how they were seduced by Paris—and then began to see things differently. They came to write, to cook, to find love, to study, to raise children, to escape, or to live the way it’s done in French movies; they came from the United States, Canada, and England; from Iran, Iraq, and Cuba; and—a few—from other parts of France. And they stayed, not as tourists, but as Parisians; some are still living there.

In Paris Was Ours, these outsiders-turned-insiders share their observations and revelations about the City of Light. The collection includes entries from celebrated literary expats, such as Diane Johnson, David Sedaris, Judith Thurman, Joe Queenan, and Edmund White.

Together, their reflections form an unusually perceptive and multifaceted portrait of a city that is entrancing, at times exasperating, but always fascinating. They remind us that Paris belongs to everyone it has touched, and to each in a different way.

“[A] wonderful collection . . . The essays capture the mood of the city in all of its dark and light shades, evoking the spirit of Eugene Atget and Marcel Proust.” —Chicago Tribune


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