Monday Nights in Paris are Never Blue

Shakespeare & Company Bookstore

Monday Nights in Paris are Never Blue

Parler Paris Nouvellettre®
Your taste of life in Paris and France
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Paris, France

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Sylvia Beach Whitman and Her Father, Geoge Whitman, June 2006 at the Palais du Luxembourg

Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Monday night has long been THE night in Paris to climb up the narrow red stairs at the Shakespeare & Company Bookstore to the tiny room overlooking the Seine lined in bookshelves and bench seats. It is here that we have heard some of the world’s most famous authors talk about their trials and tribulations as writers as well as the words from own books leave their own lips. Thanks to the legendary bookstore, Monday night is never blue.

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Parler Paris Nouvellettre® continued…

It always amazes me when someone arrives in Paris who DOES NOT KNOW all about the renowned bookstore, that had its beginnings with Sylvia Beach in 1919 when she opened the first English language bookstore in Paris at 12 rue de l’Odéon. It quickly became the center of Anglo/American literary culture in Paris and frequented by the most illustrious writers and patrons.

The bookstore’s legendary beginnings and utopian ideals were carried forward by George Whitman when he reopened it in 1951 under the same name and with the same philosophies. George, now well into his 90′s, has the good fortune of having a beautiful, young, smart, sweet and adoring daughter who is carrying the legend with her as if on a magic carpet ride. Her name, appropriately, Sylvia Beach Whitman. I have particular admiration for Sylvia, as a “guiding light” and “shining star” on the English language landscape in the City of Light from which she draws her glow.

This past Monday night, the room was filled to the brim with admirers of Cara Black author of “Murder in the Latin Quarter” and Leighton Gage, author of “Blood of the Wick

ed.” Both authors were fascinating to hear — both of the same publisher, both writing similar kinds of murder mysteries — one whose books are set in Paris, the other set in Brazil.

In my quest to bring you a ‘slice of life’ in Paris from the Anglophone community, here’s a short video of Cara Black’s talk at Shakespeare & Co., as she introduces a French criminal inspector who was in charge of the Princess Diana investigation and with whom she has worked to verify her research for her books. Click here to be at Shakespeare & Co. with Cara Black, Leighton Gage and the rest of us!:

(Note: if the video does not appear in your email, click here.)

We’ll be back there Friday night to hear the participants of the Paris Poetry Workshop read their work, after the results of the week’s work, so join us from 7 to 9 p.m., 37, rue de la Bucherie, 5th and meet many of those responsible for this legendary establishment that just improves with age, thanks to the youth Sylvia brings with her.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

P.S. To read the report from yesterday’s Parler Paris Après Midi, click here: /parlerparis/apresmidi.html and plan on seeing you next month!

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Next Meeting June 8, 2009

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