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Our Paris: Sketches from Memoryby Edmund White
Synopses & Reviews
What happens when one of our most celebrated writers combines talents with a French artist and architect to capture life in their Parisian neighborhood? The result is a lighthearted, gently satiric portrait of the heart of Paris — including the Marais, Les Halles, the two islands in the Seine, and the Châtelet — and the people who call it home. It is an enchantingly varied world, populated not only by dazzling literati and ultrachic couturiers and art dealers but also by poetic shopkeepers, grandmotherly prostitutes, and, ever underfoot, an irrepressible basset hound named Fred. The foibles and eccentricities of these sometimes outrageous, always memorable individuals are brought to life with unfailing wit and affection.
Below the surface of the sparkling humor in Our Paris, there is a tragic undercurrent. While Hubert Sorin was completing this work, he was nearing the end of his struggle with AIDS. The book is a tribute to the loving spirit with which the authors banished somberness and celebrated the pleasures of their life together.
"'So many of my friends with AIDS,' the author begins, 'have wanted to write a book or make some other kind of work of art to celebrate or at least to mark their passage on earth and in time.' Yet, while White is still living, his lover and illustrator, Hubert Sorin, is not. This amusing and satiric memoir, then, is their final celebration of life and friendship. It tells of their adventures and acquaintances, high-brow and low, in the idiosyncratic core of Paris. White's prose is a whirlwind of anecdotes, haphazardly jumping from aging prostitutes and benign beggars, to literary priests and flashy couturiers. And
while the writing does tend to wallow on occasion in a bog of name-dropping and private reflection, White's sketches of Parisian life are clever and endearing. Whimiscal and melancholic at the same time,Our Paris is a one-of-a-kind glimpse at an inexhaustable city." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
A witty, delightfully illustrated tour of Paris as it has never been seen before. White's love for his Parisian neighborhood seeps through every line of "Our Paris" as he brings life to the foibles and eccentricities of the town. Illustrations.
About the Author
Edmund White's novels include A Boy's Own Story, The Farewell Symphony,and The Married Man.He is also the author of a biography of Jean Genet, a study of Proust, and The FlÂneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris. Having lived in Paris for many years, he now resides in New York City and teaches at Princeton University.
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