Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands

78%

5 Critic Reviews

Overall this book should strike a chord in those harboring love/hate relationships with Paris and Parisians.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

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.
 

About Penelope Rowlands

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Penelope Rowlands was raised in London and New York and lived in Paris for many years. A journalist and critic, she has contributed to Vogue, the Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Art and Auction, Metropolis, and the New York Times Magazine. Her most recent book is A Dash of Daring: Carmel Snow and Her Life in Fashion, Art, and Letters, a biography of the legendary editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar. She is also the author of three illustrated books.
 
Published February 8, 2011 by Algonquin Books. 298 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Paris Was Ours
All: 5 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 0

Publishers Weekly

Good

Overall this book should strike a chord in those harboring love/hate relationships with Paris and Parisians.

Read Full Review of Paris Was Ours | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Star Tribune

Good
on Jul 23 2011

True to what Kerper said, as a better-educated tourist, I did have more fun. Because of her, I hope to go back and learn more.

Read Full Review of Paris Was Ours | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Star Tribune

Good
on Feb 05 2011

In dismantling the dream of Paris, they reveal an infinitely more complex city and people.

Read Full Review of Paris Was Ours | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Good
on May 23 2011

Whether debunking myths about Paris or paying homage to its wonders, these short works offer a multi-faceted portrait of a city both ancient and foreever young. 

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Newcity Lit

Above average
on Jan 19 2011

It’s a collection that illuminates Paris without shedding light on it.

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Reader Rating for Paris Was Ours
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 95 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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