By: Shaun Whiteside
Paris Stories gathers classic stories about the City of Light by a wide range of writers across four centuries.
Perhaps no other European city has so captured the imagination of the artistically and romantically minded. Laurence Sterne explores the temptations of the French capital in a teasing study of foreign mores, and Restif de la Bretonne provides an eyewitness account of the horrors and glories of the French Revolution.
Hugo, Balzac, Flaubert, and Zola offer fascinating portraits of the growing metropolis’s teeming humanity; the Goncourt brothers chronicle its glittering literary circles; and Huysmans describes a memorable evening at the Folies Bergère. Colette recounts the sensual adventures of a young girl in the decadent Paris of the early twentieth century, while F. Scott Fitzgerald revels in its urban glamour. Jean Rhys’s lost heroines wander from café to café, James Baldwin celebrates the city, and Raymond Queneau gleefully reinvents the language of the street.
In more recent decades, Michel Tournier’s North African immigrant walks a camel along the boulevards and Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano nostalgically maps the famed Parisian arrondissements. Theatrical and elegant, seamy and intellectual, Paris has never lost its alluring power, richly evoked in these compelling and seductive tales.
Published on 1 March 2016.
Published by: Everyman's Library
It's the midsummer ball at Oxford, and a group of men and women - friends since university days - have gathered under the stars. Included in this group is David Crimond, a genius and fervent Marxist.
Years earlier the friends had persuaded David to write a philosophical and political book on their behalf. But opinions and loyalties have changed, and on this summer evening the long-resting ghosts of the past come careering back into the present.
Published in 2003.
When Charles Arrowby retires from his glittering career in the London theatre, he buys a remote house on the rocks by the sea. He hopes to escape from his tumultuous love affairs but unexpectedly bumps into his childhood sweetheart and sets his heart on destroying her marriage.
His equilibrium is further disturbed when his friends all decide to come and keep him company and Charles finds his seaside idyll severely threatened by his obsessions.
Published in 1999.
Gyuri, a fourteen-year-old Hungarian Jew, gets the day off school to witness his father signing over the family timber business - his final act before being sent to a labour camp. Two months later, Gyuri finds himself assigned to a 'permanent workplace'. This is the start of his journey to Auschwitz.
On his arrival Gyuri finds that he is unable to identify with other Jews, and is rejected by them. An outsider among his own people, his estrangement makes him a preternaturally acute observer, dogmatically insisting on making sense of the barbarity - and beauty - he witnesses.
Published in 2017.