Writing in Paris (#2)


Shakespeare and Company bookstore (see below)
 Getting published   Writing organizations, events and classes in Paris

Contrary to the USA, authors very rarely use a literary agent and it is a new profession in France. A handful of literary agents ("agences de représentation") deal with the rights between French and foreign publishers but they do not receive manuscripts and propose them to publishers. Authors send their manuscript directly to publishers. This is now slowly changing.

The most active literary agents are :

DID YOU KNOW THAT ....? In France, since the early 1980s there is a legal limitation on the % of discount on books (5%). This policy of "prix unique du livre" is to support small publishing houses and help maintain small bookstores against the competition of supermarkets. Although criticized by European Authorities in the name of market economy (but finally accepted), it seems to be successful and the book industry is not only focused on publishing best-sellers sold in supermarkets. More about the "exception culturelle française".


 Events and misc. :

  • WICE Writing Seminar, 7 cité Falguière 75015 : the most well-known writing seminar in Paris
  • Paris Writer's Group, led by Mary Duncan, is a group of published and not yet published writers who meet monthly for chats and exchanges on the tools of the trade (agents, marketing, getting published).
  • See my list of blogs by Americans in Paris
  • More to come

Bookstores :

  • Shakespeare and Company is a mythical bookstore in the Latin Quarter, right in front of Notre Dame, initialy founded by Sylvia Beach in 1919 and now run by George Whitman and his daughter (Sylvia Beach published James Joyce's Ulysses in Paris in 1922, when British and US publishers refused it). A haven for expatriate writers (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Ezra Pound to name a few), its many cozy corners and small rooms are perfect for writers to discuss their works in progress. The whole building is a wonderful cavern of books... Leaflets and announcements, etc...
  • The Red Wheelbarrow : a small but excellent English-language bookstore (9 rue Médicis, just in front of the Luxembourg garden)
  • Other English-language bookstores include W.H.Smith, Brentano's, San Francisco Books, etc ...

A major American landmark: the AmLib

The American Library in Paris (AmLib) was founded in 1920 to host what was left of the two million books sent to US troopers during WW1. It was supported by such major philanthropes and francophiles as Anne Morgan, Edith Wharton and Gertrude Stein and by famous writers like Ernest Hemingway and many others. It remained open through most WW2 during the German Occupation thanks to Countess Longworth de Chambrun. Located 10 rue du Général Camou (close to the American College in Paris), AmLib offers unique services to English-speaking book lovers in Paris :

  • Evening with Authors (once a week)
  • Children's room and periodical's room
  • Book groups

 Useful links :

 Books by contemporary English-speaking writers in Paris

 This list refers to writers and journalists who currently live in Paris (or who lived in Paris in the recent past) with their most recent books.

  • Michael BALTER, The Goddess and the Bull, Free Press, 2005
  • Mary BLUME, A French Affait - the PAris Beat 1960-1998, The Free Press, 1999
  • Sarah COLTON, Tilt 68, Water Tower Books, 2006
  • Chris DICKEY, The Sleeper, Simon & Schuster, 2004
  • Chris DICKEY, Summer of Deliverance : A Memoir of Father and Son, Simon & Schuster, 1998
  • David DOWNIE, Paris, Paris - Journey into the City of Light (photographs by Alison HARRIS, foreword by Diane JOHNSON), Transatlantic Press, 2005
  • David DOWNIE, Paris City of Night, MEP, 2009
  • David DOWNIE, Cooking the Roman Way, HarperCollins, 2002
  • Gerry DRYANSKY, Fatima's Good Fortune (co-written with Joanne DRYANSKY), Miramax, 2004
  • Mary DUNCAN, Henry Miller's under my bed - People and places on the way to Paris, Starhaven, 2008
  • James R.GAINES, Evening in the Palace of Reason : Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment, HarperCollins, 2005
  • Terrance GALENTER, From Bagels to Brioches, Paris, 2010
  • Mavis GALLANT, Paris Notebooks, Hamish, 1986
  • Frances GENDLIN, Culture shock : Paris at your door, Graphic Art Centrer Pub., 1998
  • Adam GOPNIK, Americans in Paris : a Literary Anthology, The American Library, 2004
  • Tom HENEGHAN, Unchained Eagle : Germany After the Wall, Pearson Education, 2000
  • Diane JOHNSON, Le Divorce, Gallimard, 1997 (a best-selling novel, made into a movie)
  • Ron KATZ (with photos by Arielle de la Tour d'Auvergne), French America, EDM, 2004
  • Hilary KAISER, French war brides in America : an oral history, Praeger, 2004
  • Hilary KAISER, Veteran recall : Americans in France remember the war, Bayeux, 1994
  • Mary A.KELLY, Paris Sketchbook, Didier Millet/Thames & Hudson, 2001
  • Douglas KENNEDY, The woman in the 5th, Random House
  • Donald & Petie KLADSTRUG, Wine and war : the French, the Nazis and the battle for France's greatest treasures, Broadway, 2002
  • Axel KRAUSE, Inside the New Europe, HarperCollins, 1991
  • Laura LAM, Late blossom : memories of life, loss and love in Viet-Nam, Hesperides, 2007
  • Alec LOBRANO, Hungry for Paris : the ultimate guide to the city's 102 best restaurants, Random House, 2008
  • Susan HERMANN LOOMIS, On Rue Tatin : living and cooking in a French town, Broadway Books, 2001
  • John MORRIS, Robert Capa : D-Day (Photos Robert Capa), Point de Vue, 2004
  • John MORRIS, Get a picture : a personal history of photojournalism, U.of Chicago Press, 2002
  • Maggi NOLAN, Champagne ... and Real Pain - a Paris Memoir - Celebrities in Paris in the Fifties, Mosaic Press, Oakville 1998
  • David Wingeate PIKE, Franco and the Axis stigma, PAlgrave McMillan, 2008
  • Polly PLATT, French or Foe, Culture Crossings Ltd, 1994
  • Polly PLATT, Savoir Flair, Culture Crossings Ltd, 2000
  • Alan RIDING, The Essential Shakespeare Handbook, Dorling Kindersley, UK, 2004`
  • Mort ROSENBLUM, Escaping Plato's cave : how America's blindness to the rest of the world threatens our survival, St.Martin's Press, 2004
  • John TAYLOR, Paths to Contemporary French Literature (2 vol.), Piscataway NJ (Rutgers), Transaction Publishers, 2006
  • John TAYLOR, Une certaine joie, translated into French by Françoise Daviet, Saint-Benoît-du-Sault: Tarabuste, 2009, 184 pages
  • Hal VAUGHAN, FDR's 12 apostles, The Lyons Press, 2006
  • Hal VAUGHAN, Doctor to the Resristance, Potomac Books, 2004
  • Harriet WELTY ROCHEFORT, French Toast, St.Martin's Press, New York, 1999
  • Harriet WELTY ROCHEFORT, French Fried, St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001
  • Laurel ZUCKERMAN, Sorbonne Confidentiel, Fayard, 2007
  • More books by American writers in the past....

Books in French

  • David DOWNIE, Le Poulpe : la tour de l'immonde, Baleine, 2000
  • Axel KRAUSE, La Renaissance : Voyage à l'Intérieur de l'Europe, Seuil, 1992
  • Janet Lizop THORPE, Nous n'irons pas à Pitchipoï, Ed.de Fallois, Paris 2004
  • David ROCHEFORT, La paresse et l'oubli, Gallimard-NRF, 2010 (the story of the lost generation of the 1990s)
  • Harriet WELTY ROCHEFORT, French Toast : Heureuse comme une Américaine en France, Ramsay, Paris, 2005
 More books about France and the French by American writers...
  • Abigail ADAMS in Letters of Mrs.Adams, the Wife of John Adams, Wilkins Carter, Boston, 1848
  • Henry ADAMS, in The Letters of Henry Adams, Vol.III, Harvard Univ.Press, Cambridge, 1982
  • Sherwood ANDERSON, in France and Sherwood Anderson : Paris Notebook 1921, Louisiana State Univ.Press, Baton Rouge, 1976
  • James BALDWIN, Notes of a Native Son, Beacon Press, Biston, 1955
  • P.T.BARNUM, Struggles and Triumphs, or Forty Year's Recollections, Burr, Hartford, 1869
  • Sylvia BEACH, Shakespeare and Company, Harcourt, Brace, New York, 1959
  • Sidney BECHET, Treat it Gentle : an Autobiography, Hill & Wang, New York, 1960
  • Elizabeth BISHOP, North & South, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1946
  • Art BUCHWALD, Art Buchwald's Paris, Little, Brown, Boston, 1954
  • Art BUCHWALD, I'll Always Have Paris!, Putnam's, 1996
  • James Fenimore COOPER, Gleanings in Europe, Carey, Philadelphia, 1837
  • Malcolm COWLEY, Exile's Return : A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s, Viking, New York, 1951
  • E.E. CUMMINGS, Vive la Folie!, Vanity Fair, September 1926
  • Camille CISMANO, France - A Love Story - Women Write about the French Experience, Seal Press, 2004 (M.F.K.Fisher, Ruth Reichl, Alice B.Toklas, etc...)
  • John DOS PASSOS, Journey Between Wars, Harcourt, Brace, New York, 1928
  • Frederick DOUGLASS, Letter From Paris, Amistad, August 1985
  • Theodor DREISER, A Traveler at Forty, Century, New York, 1913
  • Isadora DUNCAN, My Life, Boni & Liveright, New York, 1927
  • Ralph Waldo EMERSON, in The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Vol.IV, Belknap Press, Cambridge, 1964
  • William FAULKNER, in Selected Letters of William Faulkner, Random House, New York, 1977
  • M.F.K. FISCHER, As They Were, Alfred A.Knopf, New York, 1982
  • MFK FISHER, Long Ago in France, Simon & Shuster, 1991
  • Francis Scott FITZGERALD, in The Short Stories of F.Scott Fitzgerald : a New Collection, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1989
  • Janet FLANNER, "Letter From Paris", The New Yorker, April 28, 1945
  • Janet FLANNER-GENET, Paris Journal 1944-1971, Shawn 1977
  • Janet FLANNER-GENET, Paris Was Yesterday 1925-1939, Penguin, 1981
  • Benjamin FRANKLIN, The Papers of Benjamin Franklin vol XIV, Yale Univ.Press, New Haven, 1970
  • Margaret FULLER, in Things and Thoughts in Europe, New York Daily Tribune, May 15, 1847
  • Mavis GALLANT, Paris Notebooks, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, London, 1989
  • Oscar HAMMERSTEIN II, The Last Time I saw Paris, Lyrics, Simon & Schuster, New york, 1949
  • Nathaniel HAWTHORNE, The French and Italian Notebooks, Ohio State Univ. Press, Colombus, 1980
  • Ernest HEMINGWAY, A Moveable Feast, Charles Scribner's & Sons, New York, 1964
  • Ernest HEMINGWAY, The Sun also Rises, Penguin, 1975
  • Langston HUGHES, The Big Sea : an Autobiography, Alfred A.Knopf, New York, 1940
  • Henry JAMES, A Little Tour in France, Penguin, 1983
  • Thomas JEFFERSON, in The Memoirs, Correspondence and Private Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Colburn & Bentley, London, 1829
  • Stanley KARNOW, Paris in the Fifties, Random House, NY, 1997
  • Jack KEROUAC, Satori in Paris, Grove Press, New York, 1966
  • A.J. LIEBLING, Between Meals : an Appetite for Paris, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1962
  • Anne Morrow LINDBERGH, The Flower and the Nettle : Letters and Diaries 1936-1939, Harcourt Brace, New York, 1976
  • Henry Wadsworth LONGFELLOW, in The Letters of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Vol.I, Harvard Univ.Press, Cambridge, 1967
  • Anita LOOS, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes : The Illuminating Diary of A Professional Lady, Boni & Liveright, New York, 1925
  • Henry MILLER, Quiet Days in Clichy, Grove, 1987
  • Gouverneur MORRIS, A Diary of the French Revolution, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1939
  • George ORWELL, Down and out in Paris and London, Penguin, 1973
  • Thomas PAINE, in The Writings of Thomas Paine, Putnam's Sons, Now York, 1895
  • S.J. PERELMAN, The Road to Miltown, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1957
  • Cole PORTER, in The Complete Lyrics of Cole Porter, Alfred A.Knopf, New York, 1983
  • Waverly ROOT, The Paris Edition : The Autobiography of Waverly Root 1927-1934, North Point Pres, San Francisco, 1987
  • Irwin SHAW, Paris, Paris!, Harcourt, Brace, New York, 1977
  • William L.SHIRER, 20th Century Journey, A Memoir of a Life and the Times, (Vol 1 1904-1930), Bantam Books 1976
  • Gertrude STEIN, The Autobiography of Alice B.Toklas, Harcourt, Brace, New York, 1933
  • Harriet Beecher STOWE, Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands, Phillips, Boston, 1854
  • James THURBER, Alarms & Diversions, Harper, New York, 1957
  • Diana VREELAND, D.V., Alfred A.Knopf, New Yrok, 1984
  • Mark TWAIN, The Innocents Abroad, American Publishing, Hartford, 1869
  • Edith WHARTON, A Backward Glance, D.Appleton Century, New York, 1934
  • Edith WHARTON, French Ways and their Meaning, Berkshire House, 1997
  • Edith WHARTON, Fighting France, From Dunkerque to Belport, Charles Scribner's & Sons, New York, 1919
  • More books by American writers currently living in Paris
  • More to come
 A short Bibliography of books on American writers in Paris
  • David BURKE, Writers in Paris, literary lives in the City of Light, Berkeley, Counterpoint, 2008
  • Elisa CAPDEVILLE, Des Américains à Paris. Artistes et bohèmes dans la France de l'Après-guerre, Arùand Colin, 2017
  • Humphrey CARPENTER, Au rendez-vous des génies - écrivains américains des années 20, Aubier, 1990
  • Michel FABRE, From Harlem to Paris - Black American Writers in France 1840-1980, Univ. of Illinois Press, 1993
  • Steven GILBAR, selected by, Americans in Paris: Great Short Stories of the City of Light, Capra Press 2002
  • Adam GOPNIK (Edited by), Americans in Paris - A Literary Anthology, The Library of America, 2004 (An excellent anthology : many of the references listed above come from it)
  • Arlen J. HANSEN, Expatriate Paris. A Cultural and Literary Guide to Paris of the 1920s, Arcade Pub., New York, 2012 (excellent for a literary walk)
  • J.Gerald KENNEDY, Imagining Paris - Exile, Writing, and American Identity, Yale Univ.Press, 1993 (about Stein, Hemingway, Miller, Fitzgerald and Barnes)
  • Ian LITTLEWOOD, Paris - A Literary Companion, Harper & Row, New York, 1988
  • Jean MERAL, Paris dans la littérature américaine, CNRS, Paris, 1983
  • Christopher SAWYER-LAUCANNO, The Continual Pilgrimage - American Writers in Paris 1944-1960, City Lights Books, 1997
  • Many illustrious American lived in Paris.
To related pages : the American Community (#1) in Paris, Americans (#3) and Paris, etc...

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Harriet Welty Rochefort writes articles and books about France and the French. Order her books :

  • "Joie de Vivre", Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing like the French, St.Martin's Press, New York, 2012
  • "French Toast, An American in Paris Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French", St.Martin's Press, New York, 1999
  • "French Fried, The Culinary Capers of An American in Paris", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001

More on Harriet's books (excerpts, upcoming events, testimonials, etc..)

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