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Paris in Mind


Paris in Mind Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Paris is a moveable feast,” Ernest Hemingway famously wrote, and in this captivating anthology, American writers share their pleasures, obsessions, and quibbles with the great city and its denizens. Mark Twain celebrates the unbridled energy of the Can-Can. Sylvia Beach recalls the excitement of opening Shakespeare & Company on the Rue Dupuytren. David Sedaris praises Parisians for keeping quiet at the movies. These are just a few of the writers assembled here, and each selection is as surprising and rewarding as the next.

Including essays, book excerpts, letters, articles, and journal entries, this seductive collection captures the long and passionate relationship Americans have had with Paris. Accompanied by an illuminating introduction, Paris in Mind is sure to be a fascinating voyage for literary travelers.

Jennifer Allen * Deborah Baldwin * James Baldwin * Dave Barry * Sylvia Beach * Saul Bellow * Bricktop * Art Buchwald * T. S. Eliot * M.F.K. Fisher * Janet Flanner * Benjamin Franklin * Ernest Hemingway *Langston Hughes * Thomas Jefferson * Stanley Karnow * Patric Kuh * A. J. Liebling * Anaïs Nin * Grant Rosenberg * David Sedaris * Irwin Shaw *Gertrude Stein * Mark Twain * Edith Wharton * E. B. White


With the help of 30 of America's most illustrious and perceptive writers, editor Lee celebrates the world's most seductive city with this delightful anthology. "Paris in Mind" is a richly eclectic and often humorous collection organized into four sections--Love, Food, Being Civilized, and Tourism.


Includes bibliographical references (p. 263-267).

About the Author

Jennifer Lee is an experienced editor with two previous anthologies, Martial Arts Are Not Just for Kicking Butt and 2sexE: Urban Tales of Love, Liberty and the Pursuit of Gettin' It On. She lives in the Bay Area in California and is happy to trade Paris and San Francisco restaurant tips.

Table of Contents



(How to Seduce and Be Seduced Like a Parisian)

E. B.White: “Liberation of Paris”

On the very first thing he did when he heard the news about the liberation of Paris from the Nazis: read the Paris entry in the Encyclopædia Britannica. The Britannica was never more moving.

Edith Wharton: from A Backward Glance

Wharton remembers “the bells of Paris calling to each other,” and announcing the end of the First World War.

Art Buchwald: “April in Paris” from Art Buchwalds Paris

An interview with Vernon Duke, the composer of “April in Paris.” Dorothy Parker, George Gershwin, and plenty of April showers make their appearance in the story of how the classic love song was born.

A. J. Liebling: “Passable” from Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris

Liebling poignantly recalls the working girl who befriended him and with whom he explored Paris while he was a distracted student of medieval history.

Maxine Rose Schur: “Passionate and Penniless in Paris”

Two very young, very love-struck Americans camp out in their VW van on the Quai de la Tournelle along an enchanted Seine.

Irwin Shaw: “Paris in Winter” from Paris! Paris!

Shaw disavows Paris by counting all thats wrong with the city in the wintertime, and still he cant help being seduced all over again once the sun comes out.

Saul Bellow: “My Paris” from It All Adds Up

A rumination on the Paris of his youth and the Paris of today—from art and anti-Semitism to how Paris lost its power as the center of European civilization and why hes still in love with the city.


(How to Eat Like a Parisian)

Ernest Hemingway: “Hunger Was Good Discipline” from A Moveable Feast

In Paris, hunger—both physical and artistic—is keenly felt.

Patric Kuh: “Boulevard Des Italiens” from The Last Days of Haute Cuisine

The chef makes his way to the country of his American father by way of County Cork, Dublin, a Parisian brasserie on the Boulevard des Italiens, his American passport, and the declaration, “I am an American.”

M. F. K. Fisher: from “The Measure of My Powers” from The Gastronomical Me

Newlyweds in Paris escape the expatriate crowd in the city and head for Dijon.

Naomi Barry: “Pariss Haute Chocolaterie”

Parisians not only have haute cuisine and haute couture, they have haute chocolaterie.

Grant Rosenberg: “A Day in the Life of a Parisian Café”

Where everybody knows your name, in French.

The Art of Living

(How to Live Like a Parisian)

David Sedaris: “The City of Light in the Dark” from Me Talk Pretty One Day

Sedaris moves to Paris, but spends most of his time in the dark, watching classic American movies.

Sylvia Beach: from Shakespeare and Company

Dreams of opening a French bookshop in New York are crushed, and voilà, an American bookshop in Paris is born.

Anaïs Nin: from The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin

The gravity of French Civilization, the “Legend of Paris,” weighs on her own literary development, but in the end, she is sure that it can be good for her “if one survives them.”

Stanley Karnow: “The Glass of Fashion” from Paris in the Fifties

The machines of haute couture—American department store buyers, an interview with Christian Dior, models, and the most fickle of consumers, the Parisienne.

Deborah Baldwin: “Paying the Way” from Paris Notes

Beauty doesnt come cheap, even for a grand old city like Paris. Baldwin shows how its paid for.

Thomas Jefferson: from The Autobiography

Writing from Paris, Jefferson gives a firsthand account of the beginning of the French Revolution.

Gertrude Stein: from Paris France

Stein remembers the Paris she knew when she was four years old, and what Paris meant before it became the home that would free her to become a writer.


(How You Cant Help Being an American in Paris)

Langston Hughes: “Montmartre” and “Le Grand Duc” from The Big Sea: An Autobiography

Hughes comes to Paris destitute, is rescued by an even poorer ballerina, and gets a job at Le Grand Duc, the place for after-hours Mississippi blues jam sessions.

Jennifer Allen: “Euro Disney: A Postcard”

An American visits the Happiest Place on Earth à la Paris, with her French mother.

Benjamin Franklin: from The Papers of Benjamin Franklin

In a series of letters from Paris, Franklin describes the fashions of the time, his warm acceptance by Paris society, and his thoughts on the American colonys war against England.

John Adams: from The Autobiography

Adams is at once delighted, envious, and distrustful of Parisian manners, and engages in a bit of private venting about his elderly colleague in Paris, calling Ben Franklins active social life “a Scene of continual discipation. . . .”

Mark Twain: from The Innocents Abroad

Twain plays a wide-eyed country innocent in Paris. Twain is charming and hilarious in his descriptions of Paris and a new Parisian dance called the “cancan.”

Dave Barry: “Parlez-Vous Français?” and “An Aesthetically Challenged American in Paris (Part II)” from Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down

In a two-part series, Barry parodies the modern American abroad in Paris. He struggles with the infamous French “R,” sees the sights, and in a bold move, takes a tax deduction.

T. S. Eliot: Letters from The Letters of T. S. Eliot

In a letter to his niece, Eliot describes the Luxembourg Gardens and Parisian children. In a letter to Robert McAlmon, Eliot advises the young American poet about Paris and literature.

Janet Flanner: “Tourist” from An American in Paris

A perfectly average American tourist takes up with a charming German in Paris and is murdered.

Bricktop (cowritten with James Haskins: “Cole Porter . . . and Josephine Baker” from Bricktop

The famed nightclub owner remembers her early days in Paris where she was befriended by Cole Porter and where she looked out for a young, naïve Josephine Baker.

James Baldwin: from No Name in the Street

To be black and American in Paris affords a freedom that being black and French or black and Algerian does not.

Product Details

Lee, Jennifer
Vintage Books
Lee, Jennifer
Lee, Jennifer
New York
Europe - France
Short Stories (single author)
American - General
Essays & Travelogues
Paris (France) Social life and customs.
Americans -- France -- Paris -- History.
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Vintage Departures Original
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.15 x 0.6 in 0.5 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Europe » France » Paris
History and Social Science » World History » France » General
Travel » Travel Writing » Europe
Travel » Travel Writing » France
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Paris in Mind Used Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9781400031023 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , With the help of 30 of America's most illustrious and perceptive writers, editor Lee celebrates the world's most seductive city with this delightful anthology. "Paris in Mind" is a richly eclectic and often humorous collection organized into four sections--Love, Food, Being Civilized, and Tourism.
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 263-267).
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