Paris Was Ours: Thirty-Two Writers Reflect on the City of Light, a non-fiction collection of essays gathered by Penelope Rowlands. These are essays from writers young and old, male and female, gay and straight, students and professionals, mothers and daughters.
I enjoyed some of the essays more than others but I think that it took all of them as a group to present the picture of Paris that they did. From the experiences of Americans, French expats, Iranians, Cubans and Brits, a universal vision of Paris from the point of view of a visitor is gathered -- one of love, loneliness, awe and fear. After reading this collection, I am now familiar with café culture, Parisian fashion, expensive but tiny maid's rooms, French parenting methods and architecture.
My favorite essay was from Zoé Valdés, a Cuban diplomat's wife and author who had to reconcile her upbringing and indoctrination in the communist nation with the beauty, freedom and consumerism that she experienced in Paris. I also really enjoyed the piece by Roxane Farmanfarmaian about her experience of being basically locked out of Iran while staying in Paris. Each unique point of view in this book is surprisingly similar and one can only finish this book in awe of those who choose to relocate to the City of Light.
Craving a fresh baguette and some chocolate,
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