Paris Was Ours - Penelope Rowlands

Paris Was Ours

By Penelope Rowlands

  • Release Date: 2011-02-08
  • Genre: Essays & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 27 Ratings


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.


  • If you can't gp to Paris - or even if you can

    By Mortalkoil
    This delightful collecrion of thoughtful, evocative, pitch-perfect, funny, wry, and/or heart-rending essays by some of our best contemporary writers is actually better than a trip to Paris-- and a whole lot cheaper. Rowlands' bookend essays alpne are worth the price of admission. A must for lovers of Paris, good writing, and life. And did I mention the production values of the physical book itself? A pleasure to just hold in your hands. Five stars.