Paris Was Ours

Paris Was Ours

Thirty-two Writers Reflect on the City of Light

eBook - 2011 | 1st ed.
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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. Living in Paris changed these writers forever.

In thirty-two personal essays--more than half of which are here published for the first time--the writers 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 for a long time; some are still living there. They were outsiders who became insiders, who here share their observations and revelations. Some are well-known writers: Diane Johnson, David Sedaris, Judith Thurman, Joe Queenan, and Edmund White. Others may be lesser known but are no less passionate on the subject.

Together, their reflections add up to 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.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781616200367
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xvi, 276 p.) : ill.
Additional Contributors: Rowlands, Penelope
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Feb 07, 2016

Paris Was Ours is a collection of essays from different expats who lived in Paris. Some of the authors moved to Paris just because they wanted to experience a foreign country. Others were forced to move there as political refugees. One author moved to Paris from Cuba with her diplomat husband. Another writer only wanted to visit Paris before realizing it wasn’t going to be easy to get back to Iran where her fiancé was waiting. Many of the stories discuss the beauty of Paris, but they also discuss the reality of it. It isn’t always the bohemian city people expect it to be. It is an expensive place to live. Still the essays all share a common: that every expat finds something different while living in Paris, and considers the city their own.

Cdnbookworm Mar 14, 2011

Paris is one of those magical cities that holds a certain mystique. I have only been to Paris once, in my youth, but my memories of it are still strong.
The writers here all lived or live now in Paris. They talk about their memories of the city, their feelings about the city, and how it compares to their lives elsewhere.
A wonderful collection, that awoke my own memories.


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