Tag Archives: Shakespeare and Company

What Elise Wrote-World Poetry Day

I have long loved poetry and wrote a few lines from the  The Highwayman in my novel Castle of Dreams. It is a poem that Stella and Jack loved when they were teenagers and quoted to each other as they walked home together from the school bus. It’s about Bess the landlords daughter who is doomed to plait a blood-red love knot in her hair forever. Very dramatic and romantic!  I’m writing Book 2 now and it is set in WW1 and its aftermath. My protagonist is, as most country boys were in that era, a wonderful horseman. His horse is named Midnight. I have done an outline for Book 2(which changes now and again) and while I can’t share the story with you I can say it has the backdrop of WW, a mystery and romance. Just the type of novel I like to read.

Today is World Poetry Day and I have shared a video curtesy of Shakespeare and Company.

For World Poetry Day, Macedonian poet Nikola Madzirov reads his work first in his native language, then in English translation. I shared this reading from Shakespeare and Company. Nikola’s poems are exquisite.




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A Writer’s Notebook – Woman with White Flowers

Here is another image created by the incomparable Oleg Oprisco. I like to think of this photo as a woman washed up on a far distant beach cast into the water by some long ago shipwreck.


Oleg Oprisco Fine Art Photography

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Shakespeare and Company

Shakespeare and Company

May 2014
Events at a Glance
Friday 2nd May 7pm
Philosophers in the Library: Bill Johnston Monday 5th May 7pm
Aller Retour Paris: Launch Party
Tuesday 6th May 4pm
Aller Retour Paris presents Thirza Vallois Wednesday 7th May 3pm
Aller Retour Paris presents Katy Masuga & Mary Duncan
Friday 9th May 7pm
The Art of Criticism: Brian Dillon Monday 12th May 7pm
Ned Beauman on Glow
Wednesday 14th May 3pm
Children’s Hour with Kate Stables Thursday 15th May 7pm
John Berger on Cataract
Monday 19th May 7pm
Lisa Appignanesi on Paris Requiem Thursday 22nd May 6pm
Bard-en-Seine Reading:
As You Like It
A very happy new month to you all! We’re having a very vibrant spring-time so far here in Paris, out on the bright, blossomy streets and inside our bustling rabbit warren of a bookshop. We ended April in a very festive mood with a raucous adaptation of Tom Stoppard’s 15-Minute Hamlet, performed in the bookshop (front row audience members were very much caught up in the action!) by a stellar cast of Tumbleweeds and volunteers past and present. It was the perfect way to celebrate 450 years of the bard to the very date, and really put us in the mood for our next Shakespearean extravaganza… Watch this space for details about our Bard-en-Seine festival (23rd-27th July), whose show-stopper centre-piece will be a five night run of Macbeth, directed by Cressida Brown, and performed en plein air in the beautiful little park next to the bookshop.
But that’s getting ahead…there’s lots to anticipate in May, too. Roll up, roll up, Henry Miller aficionados! For the first week of the month, The Henry Miller Library gang are in town, all the way from sunny Big Sur, California, for their Aller Retour Paris Festival. They’ll be headquartered at Shakespeare and Company and we’ll be hosting a few special Henry Miller-themed events, but they’re getting out and about all over Paris, as well, so check out the full line-up here.
We’re also very, very excited about fiction readings with Ned Beauman and Lisa Appignanesi, and thrilled beyond belief to announce an event with John Berger, one of the most internationally influential writers and thinkers of the last fifty years.
(If you do not see the image, click here to view it) Shakespeare and Company in the 60s
(If you do not see the image, click here to view it) The cast of Tom Stoppard’s 15-Minute Hamlet takes a bow
May Events

Most events take place upstairs in the library (30 seats), on the ground level (50 seats), or outside in front of the bookshop. During the events, the sound from the readings and discussions is projected around the entire store. We recommend you arrive 15-30 minutes early to try and get a seat as there is limited space.
Friday 2nd May 7pm
Philosophers in the Library presents…

The mindful translator: Toward a praxis of literary translation

Practising literary translators have long been at odds with translation theory. At best, such theory fails to capture the complexity of literary translation; at worst, it seriously misrepresents the processes and products of translation, both simplifying and distorting to the point where translators no longer recognize their part in the endeavor. Part of the problem lies in a misconception of what theory is for—there is a widespread assumption among translators and the general public that theory precedes practice, and is intended to be “applied”. Another approach, though, is possible—to theorize practice, as one finds, for example, in the work of Donald Schön and others. This talk, by an experienced practising translator, will consider the possible uses of theory for the practice of literary translation. Bill Johnston has translated about thirty books from the Polish, including both poetry and prose. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities; his prizes include the inaugural Found in Translation Award for Tadeusz Różewicz’s new poems (2008) and the AATSEEL Translation Prize for Magdalena Tulli’s Dreams and Stones (2004), both published by Archipelago Books. In 2012 his translation of Wiesław Myśliwski’s novel Stone Upon Stone (Archipelago Books, 2010) won the PEN Translation Prize, the Best Translated Book Award, and the AATSEEL Translation Prize. He is currently a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and is working on a new translation of the Polish national epic Pan Tadeusz by Adam Mickiewicz (1798 – 1855). He teaches in the Department of Comparative Literature at Indiana University.
Monday 5th May 7pm
Aller Retour—The Henry Miller Library Goes to Paris!

Join us at Shakespeare and Company for the Aller Retour Paris opening night party, hosted by Ping-Pong, the official literary magazine of the Henry Miller Library (all the way from Big Sur, California)! Expect poetry, wine, music by Al Rose, and Henry Miller-inspired revelry all round! Speakers include New York City’s J Hope Stein, Paris-based artist Jean-Noël Chazelle, and editor Maria Garcia Teutsch.

Maria Garcia Teutsch will be reading from the new bilingual (French and English) edition of Pussy, as well as from her new manuscript, Whore-son, poems written in response to the underlined sections of Jean Genet’s The Balcony. She has been, or will be, published in: Otoliths, The South Carolina Review, Prairie Schooner, The Lullwater Review, The Cold Mountain Review, The Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, The Sierra Nevada Review, Women’s Arts Quarterly, and Whole Beast Rag.

J Hope Stein is the author of the chapbooks: Talking Doll (Dancing Girl Press), Mary (Hyacinth Girl Press), and Corner Office (H_ngm_n). Her poems are published or forthcoming in Verse, HTML Giant, Tarpaulin Sky, Everyday Genius, Ping-Pong, Talisman, and Poetry International. She is also the editor of poetrycrush.com and the author of poetry/humour site eecattings.com.

Jean-Noël Chazelle is a Paris-based painter who will read French poems published in Ping-Pong, including the works of Jean Arp and Guy Jean, as well as some of his own work.
Tuesday 6th May 4pm
Aller Retour Paris presents: Thirza Vallois

Join us for a talk in the library—followed by an optional literary stroll around the City of Lights—with Thirza Vallois, whose “Around and About” Paris books have been universally acclaimed as the best travel books ever written on the city. The talk will run from 4-5pm, followed by the walk, which should wrap up around 7.30pm.

To learn more about Thirza and her books, visit http://www.thirzavallois.com
Wednesday 7th May 3pm
Aller Retour Paris presents: How Henry Miller Can Change Your Life (Again)

We all know why we love Henry Miller (or even hate him), but do we know the real reasons why we should love him? Join us for an insightful discussion with Dr. Katy Masuga, author of The Secret Violence of Henry Miller (2011) and Henry Miller and How He Got That Way (2011), and Mary Duncan, Director of the Paris Writers Group and author of Henry Miller is Under My Bed: People and Place on the Way to Paris (2008).
Friday 9th May 7pm
For the next installment of The Art of Criticism series, we are delighted to welcome Brian Dillon, to discuss reviewing books, writing essays, eclectic interests, and tackling literary theory. We will be discussing his new collection of essays, Objects in this Mirror (Sternberg Press), of which Wayne Koestenbaum has written, “Like Roland Barthes and Virginia Woolf, Brian Dillon pays lavish attention to curious byways that usually go without saying. In sentences at once playful and majestic, he plumbs the intellectual depths of his subjects, and reveals a perverse, nearly dandyish love for odd facts and iconoclastic vistas. There is more than a touch of W. G. Sebald—the Wordsworthian wanderer, the romantic itinerant—in Dillon’s melancholy yet mood-spiked attitude toward the material objects that greet his sober, ever-evaluating eye. Reading Objects in This Mirror, we participate in Dillon’s restless perambulations, and we are delighted to be thus transported.” Brian Dillon is a writer and critic based in Canterbury. His books include Objects in This Mirror: Essays (Sternberg Press, 2014), I Am Sitting in a Room (Cabinet, 2012), Sanctuary (Sternberg Press, 2011), Ruins (MIT Press/Whitechapel Gallery, 2011), Tormented Hope: Nine Hypochondriac Lives (Penguin, 2009), and In the Dark Room (Penguin 2005). His writing appears regularly in the Guardian, the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, Artforum, and frieze. He is UK editor of Cabinet magazine, and teaches critical writing at the Royal College of Art. Dillon is curator of Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing — a Hayward Touring exhibition which is at De Appel, Amsterdam, 27 June -14 September 2014 — and Ruin Lust, at Tate Britain from 4 March -18 May 2014. He is working on a book about the Great Explosion at Faversham, Kent, in 1916.

Hilary Mantel reviews Tormented Hope: Nine Hypochondriac Lives in the LRB
Monday 12th May 7pm
“A singular, and almost recklessly gifted, young writer” — Time

We’re hugely excited about hearing Ned Beauman speak about his dazzling new novel, Glow.

A hostage exchange outside a police station in Pakistan. A botched defection in an airport hotel in New Jersey. A test of loyalty at an abandoned resort in the Burmese jungle. A boy and a girl locking eyes at a rave in a South London laundrette… For the first time, one of Britain’s hottest young novelists turns his attention to the present day, as a conspiracy with global repercussions converges on one small flat above a dentist’s office in Camberwell.

Ned Beauman was born in 1985 in London. His debut novel, Boxer, Beetle, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Desmond Elliot Prize and won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best Fiction Book and the Goldberg Prize for Outstanding Debut Fiction. His second novel, The Teleportation Accident, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Encore Award and a Somerset Maugham Award. He has been chosen by the Culture Show as one of the twelve best new British novelists and by Granta as one of the 20 best British novelists under 40. His work has been translated into more than ten languages. Ned was also one of the judges for the Paris Literary Prize 2013.

Ned Beauman has a cool and interesting website here.
Wednesday 14th May 3pm
Children’s Hour—music, rhythm, and stories for kids. Bring your children (2-6 year-olds, siblings welcome too) to the library at Shakespeare and Company for an hour of music, songs, and stories in English (for all nationalities, even those who don’t speak English). Led by the magic Kate Stables, mum and singer/songwriter from This is the Kit, this lovely event has become an institution. There will be instruments to play and a lot of noise to make! Four euros donation appreciated. Due to space restrictions, we ask that you try and email Kate to confirm your place, and also that each child is accompanied by only one adult where possible. Thanks, all!
Thursday 15th May 7pm
We’re thrilled to announce that the magnificent John Berger will be joining us to discuss Cataract, one of his latest titles, and resonant themes in his work as a whole.

John Berger is a storyteller, essayist, novelist, screenwriter, dramatist, and critic, whose body of work embodies his concern for, in Geoff Dyer’s words, “the enduring mystery of great art and the lived experience of the oppressed”. He is one of the most internationally influential writers of the last fifty years, who has explored the relationships between the individual and society, culture and politics, and experience and expression in a series of novels, bookworks, essays, plays, films, photographic collaborations, and performances, unmatched in their diversity, ambition, and reach. His television series and book Ways of Seeing revolutionised the way that Fine Art is read and understood, while his engagement with European peasantry and migration in the fiction trilogy Into Their Labours and A Seventh Man stand as models of empathy and insight. Central to Berger’s creative identity is the idea of collaboration, with people, places, and communities as much as with other writers and thinkers. Democratic and open exchange is embedded into his project, and among those artists with whom he has worked are some of the most imaginative in their fields—theatre director Simon McBurney of Complicite, the late artist Juan Munoz, photographer Jean Mohr, composer Gavin Bryars, and film-makers Mike Dibb, Alain Tanner, and Timothy Neat.

In Cataract, John Berger works in collaboration with acclaimed Turkish illustrator Selçuk Demirel. In this book-length essay, published by the brilliant Notting Hill Editions (and Le Temps des Cerises in France), John Berger explores what happens when cataracts rob an art critic of his sight, and reflects upon his own experience of loss of vision.

John Berger: A Life in Writing

John Berger in conversation with Michael Ondaatje
Monday 19th May 7pm
We’re delighted to announce an evening with Lisa Appignanesi, who will, appropriately, be discussing her latest novel, Paris Requiem.

Paris, 1899. Capital of the crime passionel. Paris is electric with excitement. Everywhere preparations are underway for the universal exhibition and the new century—an age of speed and modernity. But the sensuous spectacle of the belle époque is shadowed by racial and social tensions. Street demos are rampant. Anti-Semites vie with the defenders of justice and the rights of man. Scientists propose hereditary explanations for the rise and rise of murder, madness, and nervous disorders. The police force is embattled, exposed in a scandal-mongering press. In the midst of all this, the body of a beautiful woman is found in the Seine. She is the performer Olympe Fabre. She is also Rachel Arnhem, a young Jewish woman, whom gossip, back in Boston, has linked to one of its favourite prodigals, Rafael Norton. James Norton, his elder brother, is charged with the task of bringing Raf and their high-spirited, though ailing, sister, Ellie, home from the hotbed of vice and murderous entanglements. It is a mission he confronts reluctantly. He and Paris have a history—not altogether unlinked to the turbulent present that now confronts him.

Lisa Appignanesi OBE is a prize-winning writer, novelist, broadcaster, and cultural commentator. She is past president of English PEN, served as deputy director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and is chair of the Freud Museum. She appears regularly on Radio 3’s Night Waves and Radio 4’s Saturday Review. Her many books include Trials of Passion, Losing the Dead, Mad, Bad and Sad, All About Love, and The Memory Man. She lives in North London.

Discover Lisa Appignanesi’s top ten books about Paris
Thursday 22nd May 6pm
The Bard-en-Seine Readings

Throughout 2014, in honour of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, we’re hosting the Bard-en-Seine Readings. The goal is simple: to revisit and celebrate some of Shakespeare’s most loved plays. So, once a month, we will be hosting informal read-throughs in the library, which will be recorded and sent out as podcasts in this very newsletter.

For May, the play will be As You Like It and the reading will take place on Thursday 22nd at 6pm, in the library.

If you’d like to take part, please email Milly Unwin, and tell her whether you’d prefer a larger or a smaller role. Parts will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis, and we’ll let you know a week in advance of the reading whether you have a role. No preparation necessary, and we’ll provide the scripts. Please note that, due to space restrictions, the Bard-en-Seine Readings will only be open to those taking part.

The allocated plays for each remaining month of 2014 are as follows:

June – Henry IV (Part 1)
July – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
August – Othello
September – The Merchant of Venice
October – Hamlet
November – Twelfth Night
December – Anthony and Cleopatra

Please check the newsletter and website each month for dates and times, and details of how to apply.
Special Recommendation if You Live in Paris
Le Panier d’Alexandre

We love getting our weekly fruit and vegetables directly from the source: Alexandre. Alexandre grows his produces in the Oise region and delivers weekly to Paris — usually on his bicycle. He delivers to your door and it costs 20 euros for a full bag of delicious home-grown goodies which you can be sure haven’t been drowned in pesticides! For more information, check out his website.
Podcasts from Last Month’s Events
John Baxter on Paris at the End of the World The Art of Criticism: Lila Azam Zanganeh
The Original of Lolita: Celebrating Nabokov’s Birthday in Paris The Best Translated Book Award 2014: Announcement and Celebration (feat. Amélie Nothomb)
450 Years of Shakespeare: A Celebration
Staff and Tumbleweed Picks
The Temporary Gentleman by Sebastian Barry
This is an extraordinary, heart-breaking novel. Beautifully written, it is the perfect companion to On Canaan’s Side. Barry’s prose has a cadence that quietly gathers until it becomes visceral. His project is of retrieval; for him, novels are the true afterlife and The Temporary Gentleman is a work of magic. — Sarah
The Black Count by Tom Reiss
Superman, Batman, Thor… These guys would have been no match for General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, whose military and life achievements certainly surpass all his contemporaries. Son of a Haitian slave and a renegade French nobleman, the father of Alexandre Dumas was the inspiration for the Count of Monte Cristo. Indeed, much as Edmond Dantès was betrayed by his friends, Thomas-Alexandre was sent to exile by a jealous Napoleon Bonaparte who could not stand to ride in the shadow of his formidable black General. Written in the style of Dumas, this hectic biography is also a clever and well-documented description of France at the end of the 18th century. No wonder it won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography. — Alex G
A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride
Sit up, read this, and be surprised. This novel throws you into the mind of a young woman and her relationship with her family. It is outstanding. The energy, the detail, and the originality of the prose are unforgettable. I haven’t felt this affected by a novel for a long time. — Sylvia
Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
I’ve always been drawn to the dirty side of Paris… Here Orwell writes about the bedbugs so we can enjoy the history without enduring the bites! — Octavia
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
A haunting book about Ruthie and her family before her. Sentence for sentence, beauty can be found. This is a short, sweet novel about growing up in the wonderfully depicted town of Fingerbone. It is a novel full of light (or lack thereof) and a whole bunch of weather that twists and turns like a bad night’s sleep. If you want to know how to write a perfectly crafted little book, well, then you can’t go wrong with Housekeeping. — Thos
Antiquarian Picks
Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
First US edition / first hardback edition
New York: Grove Press, 1962
First published in paperback by Olympia Press in Paris in 1959 as The Naked Lunch, William Burroughs’s stupefying satire on addiction, what he described as the “algebra of need”, was banned from US publication by obscenity laws. The book was finally published by Grove Press in 1962, retitled Naked Lunch to match Burroughs’s original intentions, and with substantial changes that brought the text closer to a 1958 manuscript held by Allen Ginsberg. Fine in near fine dust jacket, this first US edition appears unread. A stunning copy.
The Journals of Anaïs Nin
First editions of volumes 1-3 sold as a set
Inscribed by the author
London: Peter Owen, 1966-1970
In her legendary journals, published in seven volumes, Anaïs Nin excavates her own mind to create an intensely candid journey through the years 1931 to 1974. They are where she deciphers or perhaps dreams all those things that make up her complicated myth: sexual freedom, bigamy, psychoanalysis, colossal lies, erotica, feminism, her relationship with Henry Miller in Paris. These first three volumes, taking us from 1931-1934, 1934-1939, and 1939-1944, are inscribed by Nin to the editor Beatrice Musgrave at her publishing house Peter Owen. An extremely special set in very good condition, signed “with friendship”.
Further Literary Tidbits
Thomas Piketty and Millennial Marxists on the Scourge of Inequality Matt Haig on Reading and Writing Against Depression
The Wizard of Oz Re-Imagined by Lisbeth Zwerger Paris People on Their Favourite Books about Paris (including tips from our own Sylvia Whitman)
New York Times obituary for Gabriel García Márquez ‘Having a Coke With You’ Illustrated by Nathan Gelgud
Seven Shakespearean Phrases and Concepts that Changed Western Culture On the Re-launch of Pelican Books
Charles Simic on The Great Poets’ Brawl of ‘68 The Art of Independent Publishing
The Last Words
“Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy:
This wide and universal theatre
Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
Wherein we play in.”
— As You Like It
“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”
– Iris Murdoch

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Shakespeare and Company

The most wonderful bookstore in the world!

Shakespeare & Company

March 2014Events at a Glance Wednesday 5th March 3pm
Children’s Hour with Kate StablesWednesday 5th March 7pm
Philosophers in the LibraryThursday 6th March 8pm
Book signing with Dave EggersMonday 10th March 7pm
Andrew Hussey on The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and its ArabsMonday 17th March 7pm
A celebration of Charles BukowskiFriday 21st March 7pm
The Fag Ash MonologuesSunday 23rd March 7pm
Hanif Kureishi on The Last WordMonday 31st March 7pm
Naomi Wood on Mrs. HemingwayEarly suggestions of spring in Paris are always magical. And these past few weeks we’ve had blue skies, pink evenings, and a warmth in the air which reminds us of sitting in parks with picnics of oysters andwhite wine. Tulips and daffodils are blooming all over the city and, on the banks of the Seine and the Canal Saint-Martin, the waterside crowds are slowly returning.Maybe the changing season is putting a spring in our step, because there’s so much going on at the bookshop this month that we barely know where to start. We’re hugely looking forward to hearing from Andrew Hussey on his bold and fascinating new book, The French Intifada, a timely interrogation of France’s complicated relationship with its Arab citizens and its former colonies. The following week, fans of Bukowski will have a chance to share their favourite lines at a special evening celebrating his worktwenty years after his death. And we know how deep your passion flows for all things Hemingway here, so we can’t wait to present novelist Naomi Wood on Mrs. Hemingway, a brilliant, tender portrait of the writer through the prism of the four women who married him. We’re also very excited to have the great Dave Eggers visiting us for a signing and, later in the month, Hanif Kureishi to enthrall and scandalize us all talking about his latest novel, The Last Word.Finally, and just because they’re so lovely, we’d like to share with you the ten winning love-steeped lines from our Valentine’s Day quotes competition…

“I ask you to pass through life at my side – to be my second self, and best earthly companion.” – Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.” – Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

“Each time you happen to me all over again.” – Edith Wharton, The Age Of Innocence

“Be with me always – take any form – drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss where I can not find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I can not live without my life! I can not live without my soul!” – Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

“May your sky always be clear, may your dear smile always be bright and happy, and may you be for ever blessed for that moment of bliss and happiness which you gave to another lonely and grateful heart. Isn’t such a moment sufficient for the whole of one’s life?” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, White Nights

“We were together. I forget the rest.” – Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“What should I do about the wild and the tame? The wild heart that wants to be free, and the tame heart that wants to come home. I want to be held. I don’t want you to come too close. I want you to scoop me up and bring me home at nights. I don’t want to tell you where I am. I want to keep a place among the rocks where no one can find me. I want to be with you.” – Jeanette Winterson

“Doubt that the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar but never doubt I love.” – William Shakespeare, Hamlet

“If you live to be a hundred I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I will never have to live a day without you.” – A. A. Milne,Winnie the Pooh

“But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.” – Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

(If you do not see the image, click here to view it)Sylvia Beach (second from right) with a bandaged Ernest Hemingway and two shop assistants, outside the original Shakespeare and Company on rue de l’Odéon (Copyright Princeton University Library)(If you do not see the image, click here to view it)A double rainbow over Notre Dame (Photo by Milly Unwin)March Events Most events take place upstairs in the library (30 seats), on the ground level (50 seats), or outside in front of the bookshop. During the events, the sound from the readings anddiscussions is projected around the entire store. We recommend you arrive 15-30 minutes early to try and get a seat as there is limited space.Wednesday 5th March 3pmChildren’s Hour – music, rhythm, and stories for kids. Bring your children (2-6 year-olds, siblings welcome too) to the library at Shakespeare and Company for an hour of music, songs, and stories in English (for all nationalities, even those who don’t speak English). Led by the magic Kate Stables, mum and singer/songwriter from This is the Kit, this lovely event hasbecome an institution. There will be instruments to play and a lot of noise to make! Four euros donation appreciated.

Due to space restrictions, we ask that you try and email Kate atkatestables@gmail.com to confirm your place, and also that each child is accompanied by only one adult where possible. Thanks, all!

Wednesday 5th March 7pmPhilosophers in the Library presents…

Defining the Problem of Tomorrow’s Memory: Cultural Heritage in the Digital Age

The concept of collective memory is now well-established within the contemporary cultural heritage sector. It is in the name of memory, and the future of memory, that a case for the preservation of heritage collections is being stated with increasing urgency, and digital technologies are perceived as presenting new opportunities for sharing and providing access to cultural resources. However, these technologies also disrupt that sense of historical continuity integral to collective memory by recoding the historical timeline as a relational database and making chronologies subsidiary to search terms.

This presentation will touch on philosophical debates about collective memory and the discourse of history in the context of the cultural heritage sector, tracing the influence of digital technologies and reflecting on the broader societal and political implications for memory in the digital age.

Liz Stainforth is a PhD student in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies (University of Leeds). Her research considers the ideological significance attributed to memory, understood as a form of national or transnational inheritance, in relation to cultural heritage digitisation projects. Previous roles at the University of Leeds Library have involved project work with the Digital Content and Repositories Team, Special Collections, and the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery.

Thursday 6th March 8pm”Many writers, having written a first best-seller, might see it as a nice way to start a career. He started a movement instead.” – Time

We’re delighted to announce a book signing with the dazzling Dave Eggers.

Dave Eggers’s most recent novel is the critically acclaimed critique of the internet age, The Circle. He is the author of six previous books, including A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award, and Zeitoun, winner of the American Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. His novel What Is the What was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award and won France’s Prix Medici. That book, about Valentino Achak Deng, a survivor of the civil war in Sudan, gave birth to the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, which operates a secondary school in South Sudan run by Mr. Deng. Dave Eggers is

the founder and editor of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house based in San Francisco that produces a quarterly journal, a monthly magazine, The Believer:, a quarterly DVD of short films and documentaries, Wholphin, and an oral history series, Voice of Witness. In 2002, with Nínive Calegari he cofounded 826 Valencia, a non-profit writing and tutoring centre for youth in the Mission District of San Francisco. Local communities have since opened sister 826 centres in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Ann Arbor, Seattle, Boston, and Washington, DC. A native of Chicago, Dave Eggers now lives in Northern California with his wife and two children.

Margaret Atwood’s NYRB review of The Circle

A short Q&A with Dave Eggers onThe Circle

Monday 10th March 7pmWe’re very excited to present Andrew Hussey on his timely and provocative new book, The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and its Arabs.

To fully understand both the social and political pressures wracking contemporary France – and, indeed, all of Europe – as well as major events from the Arab Spring to the tensions in Mali, Andrew Hussey believes that we have to look beyond the confines of domestic horizons. As much as unemployment, economic stagnation, and social deprivation exacerbate the ongoing turmoil in the banlieues, the root of the problem lies elsewhere: in the continuing fallout from Europe’s colonial era.

Combining a fascinating and compulsively readable mix of history, literature, and politics with his years of personal experience visiting the banlieues and countries across the Arab world, especially Algeria, Andrew Hussey attempts to make sense of the present situation. In the course of teasing out the myriad interconnections between past and present in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Beirut,

and Western Europe, The French Intifada shows that the defining conflict of the twenty-first century will not be between Islam and the West but between two dramatically different experiences of the world – the colonizers and the colonized.

Andrew Hussey is Dean of the University of London Institute in Paris, a regular contributor to theGuardian and The New Statesman, and the writer/presenter of several BBC documentaries on French food and art. He is the author of The Game of War: The Life and Death of Guy Debord (2001), and Paris: The Secret History (2006). He was awarded an OBE in the 2011 New Year’s Honours list for services to cultural relations between the United Kingdom and France.

This event will be chaired by Marie Doezema, a journalist with over ten years of reporting experience in the U.S., France, Japan, and Qatar. She is currently based in Paris, where she works as a correspondent for various international publications and as a teacher of journalism at the Sorbonne.

An extract from The French Intifada

Monday 17th March 7pm“In my work, as a writer, I only photograph, in words, what I see. If I write of ‘sadism’ it is because it exists, I didn’t invent it, and if some terrible act occurs in my work it is because such things happen in our lives. I am not on the side of evil, if such a thing as evil abounds. In my writing I do not always agree with what occurs, nor do I linger in the mud for the sheer sake of it. Also, it is curious that the people who rail against my work seem to overlook the sections of it which entail joy and love and hope, and there are such sections. My days, my years, my life has seen up and downs, lights and darknesses. If I wrote only and continually of the ‘light’ and never mentioned the other, then as an artist I would be a liar.” – Charles BukowskiMarch 2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of Charles Bukowski’s death. What a perfect excuse to praise one of the greatest, most honest, most controversial American poets and novelists who ever lived. You’re all invited to come on stage and share your favorite poem or lines. We will also be lucky enough to have with us French writers and Bukowski fans Christophe Donner and Pierre Mikaïloff.

The event will be chaired by Alexandre Guégan, who recently translated More Notes of a Dirty Old Man into French for Grasset. And there are even rumours that we will be joined by the author himself…

Tony O’Neill on Bukowski in theGuardian

Friday 21st March 7pmSpoken Word London host (and ex-Tumbleweed extraordinaire) Pat Cash presents a short selection of the Fag Ash Monologues, three ten-minute windows into the worlds of disparate characters in modernBritain, including Patricia Primarché, the cheap drag queen, $harkface $ally, the venomous PR woman, and Vinnie, the boring boyfriend. Performed by Pat Cash, Milly Unwin, and Tom Hodges.Sunday 23rd March 7pmWe’re delighted to present Hanif Kureishi on his witty and brilliant new novel, The Last Word.

Mamoon is an eminent Indian-born writer who has made a career in England – but now, in his early 70s, his reputation is fading, sales have dried up, and his new wife has expensive taste.

Harry, a young writer, is commissioned to write a biography to revitalise both Mamoon’s career and his bank balance. Harry greatly admires Mamoon’s work and wants to uncover the truth of the artist’s life. Harry’s publisher seeks a more naked truth, a salacious tale of sex and scandal that will generate headlines. Meanwhile, Mamoon himself is mining a different vein of truth altogether. Harry and Mamoon find themselves in a battle of wills, but which of them will have the last word?

Hanif Kureishi was born in Kent and read philosophy at King’s College, London. His 1984 screenplay for the film My Beautiful Laundrette was nominated for an Oscar. His short story ‘My Son the

Fanatic’ was adapted as a film in 1998. The Buddha of Suburbia (1990) won the Whitbread Prize for Best First Novel and was produced as a four-part drama for the BBC in 1993. His second novel was The Black Album (1995). The next,Intimacy (1998), was adapted as a film in 2001, winning the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film festival. Gabriel’s Gift was published in 2001 and Something to Tell You in 2008. A short story collection,Collected Stories, was published in 2010. Hanif Kureishi has also written non-fiction, including the essay collections Dreaming and Scheming: Reflections on Writing and Politics (2002) and The Word and the Bomb (2005). The memoir My Ear at his Heart: Reading my Fatherappeared in 2004.

Hanif Kureishi was awarded the C.B.E. for his services to literature, and the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts des Lettres in France. His works have been translated into 36 languages.

Observer interview with Hanif Kureishi

Monday 31st March 7pmWe’re very happy to present Naomi Wood on Mrs. Hemingway – the story of the most famous writer of his generation and the four extraordinary women who married him.

In the dazzling summer of 1926, Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley travel from their home in Paris to a villa in the south of France. They swim, play bridge, and drink gin. But wherever they go they are accompanied by the glamorous and irrepressible Fife. Fife is Hadley’s best friend. She is also Ernest’s lover. Hadley is the first Mrs. Hemingway, but neither she nor Fife will be the last. Over the ensuing decades, Ernest’s literary career will blaze a trail, but his marriages will be ignited by passion and deceit. Four women

will learn what it means to love the most famous writer of his generation, and each will be forced to ask herself how far she will go to remain his wife. Luminous and intoxicating, Mrs. Hemingwayportrays real lives with rare intimacy and plumbs the depths of the human heart.

Naomi Wood was born in 1983 and lives in London. She studied at Cambridge and at UEA for her MA in Creative Writing. Originally from York, she has gone on to live in Hong Kong, Paris, and Washington DC. Her first novel was The Godless Boys.

Rave review of Mrs. Hemingway in The Telegraph

Rave review of Mrs. Hemingway in The Observer

The Bard-en-Seine ReadingsThroughout 2014, in honour of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, we’re hosting the Bard-en-Seine Readings. The goal is simple: to revisit and celebrate some of Shakespeare’s most loved plays. So, once a month, we will be hosting informal read-throughs in the library, which will be recorded and sent out as podcasts in this very newsletter (see below for February’s reading of Romeo and Juliet), so you’ll all be able to share in the theatrical fun.

For March, the play will be The Tempest and the reading will take place on Thursday 20th at 6pm, in the library.

If you’d like to take part, please email Milly Unwin atmilly@shakespeareandcompany.com, and tell her whether you’d prefer a larger or a smaller role. Parts will be allocated on a first-come first-served

basis, and we’ll let you know a week in advance of the reading whether you have a role. No preparation necessary, and we’ll provide the scripts. Please note that, due to space restrictions, the Bard-en-Seine Readings will only be open to those taking part.

The allocated plays for each remaining month of 2014 are as follows:

April – King Lear
May – As You Like It
June – Henry IV (Part 1)
July – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
August – Othello
September – The Merchant of Venice
October – Hamlet
November – Twelfth Night
December – Anthony and Cleopatra

Please check the newsletter and website each month for dates and times, and details of how to apply.

Podcasts from Recent EventsMaggie O’Farrell on Instructions for a HeatwaveMargaret Drabble on The Pure Gold BabyLouise Doughty on Apple Tree YardJoanna Walsh on Fractals, with Lauren ElkinBard-en-Seine Reading: Romeo and Juliet Staff and Tumbleweed PicksCapital by Karl MarxMy grandmother was a communist and as punishment for putting sand in my cousin’s sandwich, she made me read a chapter of Marx out-loud every Sunday for several months. At first, it was the book’s politics that stirred me – I started boycotting the local sweet-shop, knowing there was profit in rhubarb and custards. Recently though, it has been the book’s style – its incredible giant panache – that has delighted me. I encourage you to put sand in a cousin’s sandwich. – Ben AAll Russians Love Birch Trees by Olga GrjasnovaWe all are foreigners, aren’t we? Foreign to countries, languages, the relationships we live in, foreign to ourselves. So is Masha, this book’s main character. Twenty-something, independent, hair-trigger temper, a beautiful woman, graduate in translation, speaking five languages, likeable – she has everything she needs to start a successful adult life, but yet this is only the beginning of her difficult path to self-identification. An immigrant from Azerbajian, living in Germany, from a family with Jewish origins, surrounded by other outcasts, Masha is desperately trying to fix the feeling of not belonging she has been dealing with since she was a child. Set in Baku, Berlin, and Israel, this story is about how love and politics become one in Masha’s life. Harsh, witty, and very compelling, All Russians Love Birch Trees is a debut novel and a promising start to Grjasnova’s writing career. – KarolinaA Man in Love by Karl Ove KnausgaardThe second book of six. The third, Boyhood Island, comes out at the end of March, so make sure you are up-to-date with Knausgaard’s life and musings. I finished this epic in a whirlwind and am now thirsty for more. Read of Knausgaard’s move to Stockholm, of love and hate and family, and what it means to have a pencil in your hand. As one reviewer said “even when I was bored, I was interested”. Surprisingly addictive. – ThosOne Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia MarquezIn a world where angel-like, too-wise-for-the-world girls ascend into the sky on a warm afternoon, where the blood of murdered men runs along the streets, Marquez is king. Time to rediscover this jewel of Latino-American literature, which depicts the history of Macondo, a small Colombian village, through the different generations of the Buendia family. With a restless humour, the author embraces everything life and human beings seem to be about. The diversity of themes he tackles is only matched by a baroque style that distils magic within reality and leaves the reader to catch his breath when the last page is turned. Then, the real solitude begins. – Jean-BaptistePortions from a Wine-Stained Notebook by Charles BukowskiThis is a pretty rad collection of columns, short stories, and essays that Bukowski wrote for magazines, including some of his (in)famous Notes of a Dirty Old Man. There is a lot of humour in these never-published-before gems. You might even learn a thing or two on what it takes to be a writer, a poet. You might hear of William Wantling for the first time and fall in love with his poems. You might want to beat the racetrack. And if you read it carefully, you will get that the dirty old man was in fact an angel in disguise. – Alex GPoet’s Pub by Eric LinklaterBeer and books. Saturday Keith, aspiring young poet, takes over the Pelican Pub. Cue a cross-country car-chase, farcical romantic mishaps, and P.G Wodehouse-esque quick quips. A comical portrait of life as we wish it had been in upper class 1920s Britain. – AimeeFurther Literary TidbitsMavis Gallant’s Spanish DiariesA Dramatic Reading of James Joyce’s Filthy Love LettersThe North-West London Blues by Zadie SmithThe Beautiful Magazines Proving Print Isn’t DeadCan Beauty Help Us Become Better People?James Wood on Not Going HomeThe Universal Shapes of Stories According to Kurt VonnegutWilliam Shakespeare: The King of Infinite SpaceWhy Are Books About English Grammar So Popular?George Packer on Amazon in The New YorkerThe Last Word “We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”
– The TempestJoin Us on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter @Shakespeare_Co for daily shop updates, event announcements, and general bookshop-in-Paris notes.

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Shakespeare and Company, February, 2013

For those of you who are lucky to be in Paris in February this is the Shakespeare and Company, February, 2013 newsletter.

Friday 1st February 7pm
Stephanie LaCava on An Extraordinary Theory of Objects Monday 4th February 7pm
Concert with Yo Zushi
Tuesday 12th February 7.30pm
Kevin Powers on The Yellow Birds Thursday 14th February 7pm
Paul Murray, author of Skippy Dies
Wednesday 20th February 3pm
Children’s Hour with Kate Stables Thursday 21st February 7pm
Becoming a Writer/Staying a Writer with Louise Doughty
Friday 22nd February 6pm
Philosophers in the Library with Hammam Aldouri Monday 25th February 7pm
Denis Hirson, Ellen Hinsey and Nancy Huston
Snow has been falling these past couple of weeks and covering Paris in a sparkling blanket of white, soon flecked with the grit of thousands of Parisians stomping through, bundled in hats and coats and scarfs and breathing puffs of cold air. At the bookshop, we’ve been hibernating from the winter chill and the snow at our doorstep, but beavering away inside, sprucing up and stripping away ready for a new year. We’ve now installed a projector in the library to complement our fabulous (but very discreet) cinema screen, so watch out for some cosy film screenings over the next few months. Over February, we’ll be running footage from the archives, so pop in and you might catch a glimpse of life at Shakespeare and Company in decades gone by.
To celebrate our reopening, we have a particularly jam-packed and vibrant events programme this month, from Stephanie LaCava, author of an exquisite, oddball memoir about growing up in Paris, to Kevin Powers, Iraq war veteran and critically acclaimed author of The Yellow Birds, and Skippy Dies author Paul Murray, to a new edition of the ever-popular Philosophers in the Library, and a joint reading from three much-admired Paris-based writers.
Photograph by David Grove
Don’t forget, if you are unable to come to a particular event and want a signed copy of one of the author’s books (we can also post it to you) please email Alice.

Most events take place upstairs in the library (40 seats), on the ground level (50 seats) or outside in front of the bookshop. During the events, the sound from the reading and discussions is projected around the entire bookshop. We recommend you arrive 15–30 minutes early to try to get a seat as there is limited space.
We are delighted to present journalist Stephanie LaCava with her captivating literary debut, An Extraordinary Theory of Objects.

An awkward, curious girl growing up in a foreign country, Stephanie LaCava finds solace and security in strange yet beautiful objects. When her father’s mysterious job transports her and her family to the quaint Parisian suburb of Le Vésinet, everything changes for the young American. Stephanie sets out to explore her new surroundings and to make friends at her unconventional international school, but her curiosity soon gives way to feelings of anxiety and a deep depression. In her darkest moments, Stephanie learns to filter the world through her peculiar lens, discovering the uncommon, uncelebrated beauty in what she finds. Encouraged by her father through trips to museums and scavenger hunts at antique shows, she traces an interconnected web of narratives of long-ago outsiders, and of objects historical and natural, that ultimately help her survive.

A series of illustrated essays that unfolds in cinematic fashion, An Extraordinary Theory of Objects offers a universal lesson – to harness the power of creativity to cope with loneliness, sadness, and disappointment to find wonder in the uncertainty of the future.
Interview with Stephanie LaCava

Daily Beast review of An Extraordinary Theory of Objects

Realism Deficiency: book trailer for An Extraordinary Theory of Objects

“This could be the start of something major” – ****, Q Magazine
Yo Zushi, described by Mary Anne Hobbs of BBC Radio 1 as “the spirit of Bob Dylan for the 21st century”, has released two albums on Pointy Records, as well as an EP on Italy’s Best Kept Secret Tape Label. Q Magazine gave his debut album, Songs From a Dazzling Drift, four stars, saying: “This could be the start of something major.”

The Word praised his “perfectly constructed lyricism”; Dazed & Confused called his music “a masterclass in storytelling”. In 2008, Zushi released his second album, Notes For Holy Larceny (five stars – Amelia’s Magazine; “A raw… intriguing talent” – Steve Lamacq, BBC Radio 2), followed by a series of EPs and singles in 2009. Zushi has played on bills with Joanna Newsom, Scritti Politti, Willy Mason, Rachel Unthank, the Magic Numbers, Patrick Wolf and Micah P Hinson, among others. After a few years off, Zushi is back with dozens of new songs, some of which will soon be released through his blog Board of Fun

More info on Yo Zushi: http://www.yozushi.net

In collaboration with Stock, we are very excited to present Kevin Powers, author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning The Yellow Birds. An unforgettable depiction of the psychological impact of war, by a young Iraq veteran, The Yellow Birds is already being hailed as a modern classic. Described as the “All Quiet on the Western Front for the Arab wars” by Tom Wolfe and “a classic of contemporary war literature” by The New York Times, The Yellow Birds is also the winner of the Guardian First Book Award, and a finalist in the National Book Awards. It was chosen as a book of the year in 2012 by The New York Times, The Times, The Independent, the TLS, and The Irish Times, among many others.

Kevin Powers was born and raised in Richmond, VA. In 2004 and 2005 he served with the U.S. Army in Mosul and Tal Afar, Iraq. He studied English at Virginia Commonwealth University after his honourable discharge and received an M.F.A. in Poetry from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin in 2012.
Interview with Kevin Powers

The New York Times review of The Yellow Birds

“A triumph. . . brimful of wit and narrative energy” – Sunday Times
In collaboration with Belfond, we are very happy to present Paul Murray, author of Skippy Dies (2010) and An Evening of Long Goodbyes (2003). A former bookseller, Paul Murray was born in 1975. He studied English literature at Trinity College in Dublin and has a Masters degree in creative writing from the University of East Anglia. His first novel, An Evening of Long Goodbyes, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize in 2003 and was nominated for the Kerry Irish Fiction Award. His most recent book, Skippy Dies, described as a tragi-comic masterpiece about growing up and learning about life in a Dublin boarding school, was longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize and received a staggering amount of critical acclaim.

Paul Murray is in France to promote the French publication of Skippy Dies, Skippy dans les étoiles (Belfond). We can’t wait to hear from him…
Review of Skippy Dies

Children’s Hour – music, rhythm and stories for kids: Bring your children (2-6 year-olds, siblings welcome too) to the library at Shakespeare and Company for an hour of music, songs and stories in English (for all nationalities, even those who don’t speak English). Led by the magic Kate Stables, mum and singer/songwriter from This is the Kit, this lovely event is fast becoming an institution. There will be instruments to play and a lot of noise to make! Four euros donation appreciated.
Becoming a Writer/Staying a Writer: novelist Louise Doughty will talk about the practicalities of becoming a writer and staying one in today’s difficult and exciting climate.Doughty is the author of six previous novels, including Whatever You Love, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award and longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She also wrote A Novel in a Year, a book about writing, based on her hugely popular newspaper column, which drew tens of thousands of responses worldwide. What is it that makes so many people want to write a novel and how do they go about it? How useful are writing courses, writers’ groups, blogs and self-publishing? Most importantly, how does any novelist keep his or her nerve in the face of rejections or bad reviews – and how does anyone combine a writing life with the practicalities of earning a living, having relationships or a family?

Louise Doughty’s seventh novel, Apple Tree Yard, will be published by Faber & Faber UK in June. She has worked widely as a journalist and broadcaster in the UK and was a judge for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for fiction.
This edition of Philosophers in the Library will focus on the philosophical concept most strongly associated with G.W.F. Hegel’s philosophy and its legacy: ‘dialectic.’ Notwithstanding the complex and diverse theoretical reception of the concept (most notably in the historical forms that structure ‘post-‘, ‘anti-‘, and ‘neo-‘ Hegelianism), not to mention the notorious difficulty of Hegel’s own philosophical exposition, this talk will move at a consciously rudimentary level, staying close to only a small number of critical moments in Hegel’s work (especially the Phenomenology of Spirit) and attempting to expose and explicate as clearly as possible central themes and salient meanings found therein. Accordingly, the talk will advance through a series of basic reflections: it will inquire into the identity of the dialectic (“what is it?”), its operation (“how does it work?”) and its consequences (“what happens as a result of dialectics?”). In the attempt to demystify Hegel’s dialectic at an introductory level, it will hopefully become clear in what sense Hegel’s thought is still of relevance today. No prior knowledge of Hegel or philosophy in general is necessary – Philosophers in the Library is open to everyone!
Three English-speaking writers living in Paris, Nancy Huston, Ellen Hinsey and Denis Hirson, will all be reading from their work. To honour the passing of George Whitman and the new page that has turned at Shakespeare and Company, they have chosen texts which all relate to the essential energies freed by rites of passage. Are there any stronger moments in our lives than those concerning birth, love and death? That is when we use our deepest fuel, when our strongest writing is done. Come and listen to three writers putting this idea to the test.
FIESTA (The Sun Also Rises)

Based on Ernest Hemingway’s classic

Adapted by Alex Helfrecht with Sam Snape FIESTA is a fiercely original theatrical experience, fusing explosive theatre, live jazz performance and dynamic choreography into a play that sees the sensual beauty and the raw brutality of Ernest Hemingway’s tale of love, loss and decadence.
Here’s a little teaser trailer
Book tickets here

This is a wonderful, heart-breaking story about a ten year old boy whose face is severely deformed from birth. His state is so rare that doctors consider him a medical wonder. People point, stare, gasp, shriek – something August never gets used to. In this book, narrated by August and later by other children, we follow his first year at school and the challenges it brings, the changes people make and the eventual friendships formed over more than beauty. Similar to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. — Sylvia
This is a graceful and oddball memoir about trying to grow up in a foreign city (Paris, when you are American). It chronicles mental illness, alienation and the struggles of adolescence (I’m about the same age as the author and found the analysis of grunge and Kurt Cobain and the cardigan pretty nostalgic), but, as the author found solace in curious and compelling objects, so do we. The text is sprinkled with exquisite line drawings and meandering footnotes on each strange little talisman that Stephanie hoarded. For example, a trip to the shop to buy sugar-dusted violet candies becomes a rumination on the violet through history (“one of the few flowers that flourishes in winter”) – violet crystals, violet wine, violet perfume… A melancholy and magical story. — Laura
The road that brought me to Shakespeare and Company this year began in Addis Ababa, so when I saw the name Dinaw Mengestu on the contemporary fiction shelf I immediately recognized it as Ethiopian. Mengestu’s sophomore novel is not about Ethiopia per se, but speaks more broadly to the restlessness of youth, love, immigrants, Americans: in short, it excludes no one from its considerations for what it means to alive in a highly mobile world. But the message Mengestu conveys through his protagonist – a storyteller who, appropriately enough, is in the process of finding his own voice by rewriting his family’s history – is that while restlessness is a common experience, we each have a unique story to tell, and the act of narration alone can lead to deliverance, even if we never stop moving: “She had packed up her entire life before, and now, six months later, if she had learned anything at all about herself, it was that she could do with far less. She could, if she wanted, get away with almost nothing.” — Ellen
For my birthday I received a gorgeous, red-cloth edition of The Elements of Style, the iconic grammar and composition guide written by William Strunk in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1957 and again in 1979. This 2005 edition adds glorious illustrations from the magical, witty Maria Kalman, whose work I first fell in love with when it appeared in the New York Times op-ed pages. Grammar nerds, you just may find yourself scratching your pet rules onto bathroom walls. (“Do not join independent clauses with a comma.” Rule 5.) (I’m serious. Don’t do it.)
— Krista
This is a stealth book, a cat burglar of a book. Neil and his bizarre situation (dad reincarnated as a computer, yes, Douglas Coupland territory somehow) crept up on me and became the most important thing on my literary landscape. The more I read, the more I cared. Super-smart, witty, original and the sneaking feeling that this could be you if you lived in Silicon Valley and were between relationships. Read it and find out. — Linda
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

— William Shakespeare
is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse

it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it

— Frank O’Hara
Somewhere on the other side of this wide night
and the distance between us, I am thinking of you.
The room is turning slowly away from the moon.

This is pleasurable. Or shall I cross that out and say
it is sad? In one of the tenses I singing
an impossible song of desire that you cannot hear.

La lala la. See? I close my eyes and imagine
the dark hills I would have to cross
to reach you. For I am in love with you and this

is what it is like or what it is like in words.

— Carol Ann Duffy
F. Scott Fitzgerald on the secret of great writing
Daniel Mendelsohn on literary criticism

Books interview with Francine Prose
Walt Whitman in comic strip

George Saunders: a life in writing
New Yorker fiction podcast: Love by William Maxwell

Sharon Olds on transforming life into art
Rumpus interview with Margaret Atwood

Finding an audience abroad: which American novelists are read France?
Interview with Dave Eggers

— James Baldwin

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Shakespeare and Company


Take a visit to Shakespeare and Company if you are lucky enough to be in Paris.

Monday 3rd December 7pm
Humpty Dumpty Publishing presents Topsy Turvy Tales Monday 10th December 7pm
Launch of The White Review No.6
Thursday 13th December 6pm
Talk and tasting with Marc Grossman Tuesday 18th December 7pm
Storyteller Rachel Rose Reid
Wednesday 19th December 3pm
Children’s Hour with Kate Stables
Winter is closing in on the December streets and the darkening evenings are lit earlier by the old street lamps and new fairy lights. The City of Light comes into its own in the gloaming and architecture that is beautiful under blue skies is imbued with a new kind of magic at night. There is something magical, too, about entering the bookshop on a cold, dark evening, coming into the soft glow and cosy warmth. In the run up to Christmas, we have an array of wonderful events to tempt you in from the cobbles… macabre tales; new doyens of the literary magazine scene The White Review; a talk and tasty treats from the creator of Bob’s Kitchen and Juice Bar; wild and dreamy tales from a master storyteller…
This December also marks the one year anniversary of George Whitman’s death, and the 99 year anniversary of his birth. Shakespeare and Company is so absolutely entwined with the vision and personality of this man, who created the shop like a man would write a novel that his absence is inevitably felt. However, though he no longer lives as a figurehead above the shop, he is everywhere — wherever there are books and people and generosity and oddity and ideas. And he is nowhere more so than in Sylvia, his daughter, who has taken on his creation with an energy and imagination of her own. Today the shop is more alive than ever — we host a vibrant weekly schedule of readings, film screenings and concerts; Tumbleweeds — the young writers who live for free among the books — continue to tumble in as they have done for the past 60 or so years; and, as we continue to work on the history book project, mining the archives in the shop as it is today, we are moved by the largeness of what George achieved, and its continuing relevance. George liked to describe himself as the frère lampier, the lamp lighter, and Shakespeare and Company continues to be lit up, a beacon calling out to people all over the world.
Don’t forget, if you are unable to come to a particular event and want a signed copy of one of the author’s books (we can also post it to you) please email Alice.

Most events take place upstairs in the library (40 seats), on the ground level (50 seats) or outside in front of the bookshop. During the events, the sound from the reading and discussions is projected around the entire bookshop. We recommend you arrive 15–30 minutes early to try to get a seat as there is limited space.
Topsy Turvy Tales is an illustrated gift book of tales by Charlotte Boulay-Goldsmith and Laura Hyde of new and exciting, all female publishing company Humpty Dumpty Publishing, who team together writers and illustrators to publish exquisite and affordable gift books with a twist. Topsy Turvy Tales is a beautifully produced hardback with a black and white screen printed cover and a strong emphasis on playfulness of layout and graphics. Dark and twisted, heart-warming and fun, it has a Tim Burton and Edward Gorey quality.
For this festive event, Charlotte and Laura will be around if you’d like your copy signed and, upstairs, two of the tales from the book which have been adapted into animations, narrated by Maryam d’Abo and Bill Nighy, will be screened. There will also be wine, cupcakes from the excellent Bertie’s Cupcakery, live music by Lady Merxck and other surprises!
Review by Philip Colbert for Pas un Autre
Review by Laura Bailey for Vogue

Please join us to celebrate the launch of The White Review No. 6, notably featuring interviews with China Mieville, Julia Kristeva and Edmund de Waal, fiction by Helen DeWitt, essays on J. H. Prynne and Bela Tarr, artwork by Matt Connors and poetry by Emily Berry.
To mark the release of this new edition, editors Jacques Testard and Benjamin Eastham have put together a panel to discuss the past, present and future of literary magazines, including Christian Lorentzen (Senior Editor at the London Review of Books and editor of Say What You Mean: The n+1 Anthology), Craig Taylor (Five Dials, and the author of Londoners), Heather Hartley (Paris editor of Tin House) and Krista Halverson (former managing editor of Zoetrope).
New York expat Marc Grossman, the creator of Bob’s Juice Bar (10e) and Bob’s Kitchen (3e) and author of several popular cookbooks, will be celebrating the release of his latest cookbook New York — Les Recettes Culte (ed. Marabout) at Shakespeare and Company. With over one hundred recipes across a wide range of sweet and savoury foods, New York — Les Recettes Culte is Marc’s largest and most ambitious book to date. “It’s everything I crave when I feel homesick,” says Marc. Stunning photos by Akiko Ida and Pierre Javell, as well as illustrations by Jane Teasdale, make this book as visually engrossing as it is appetizing. For the book signing, Marc has promised to personally prepare pies and other treats from the book. We cannot wait!
“Immense skill and breathless conviction… there’s no faulting Reid’s command of her craft.”
— The Times

Join Rachel Rose Reid for a winding journey through poems, stories and songs that stretch from Grecian hills to the shores of Newfoundland, from ancient worlds to the present day. Dubbed Queen of the New Wave of Storytellers (BBC Radio 3), Rachel Rose Reid’s work reflects her upbringing between folk traditions and urban jungle, bridging across the oral heritage of our ancestors and the spoken word of today. She is currently Writer in Residence at the Dickens Museum in London and this year has also written and performed commissions for BBC Radio, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Billy Bragg’s centenary tribute to Woody Guthrie. So come along one and all and be enchanted on a cold winter’s night…
Rachel Rose Reid on Twitter / Facebook

Children’s Hour — music, rhythm and stories for kids: Bring your children (2–6 year–olds, siblings welcome too) to the library at Shakespeare and Company for an hour of music, songs and stories in English (for all nationalities, even those who don’t speak English). Led by the magic Kate Stables, mum and singer/songwriter from This is the Kit, this lovely event is fast becoming an institution. There will be instruments to play and a lot of noise to make! Four euros donation appreciated.
Shakespeare and Company at Wanderlust

For two days before Christmas those fashionable folk at Wanderlust are hosting the magical Joyeux Market — so come on down to the banks of the Seine and browse for beautiful trinkets and treats from an array of fabulous stalls. We’ll be there peddling our books, along with Kusmi Tea, Millimètres, Cherry Picker, Tattyoo, Bohemian Chic, WISP wild and wicked woolies, Roger-Bontemps, Juliette Beaupin, Jicqy les Mirettes, Mamamushi, Jip, and many more.

And, after you’re all shopped out, there’s a treasure hunt, a boutique hair salon, a photomaton, mulled wine, boulles, a barbecue, and much more to enjoy!
Saturday 15th December 2pm–11pm
Sunday 16th December 11am–7pm

5€ full price / 3€ student rate
Free for those under 12 Wanderlust, 32 quai d’Austerlitz, 75013 Paris

Joyeux Market at Wanderlust

The author’s first novel and clearly a very autobiographical account of a 21 year old soldier’s journey from the US training camps to fighting in Iraq in 2004. It explores the daily lives of soldiers, the fear and fatigue, their ambivalent attitude toward death: “nothing seemed more natural than someone getting killed.”

This is a story of friendship and loss and the often psychologically traumatic transition “back home” for many soldiers. It has been hailed as the All Quiet on the Western Front of America’s Arab wars. Immediately striking because of its poetic style, brilliantly structured, a style similar to Cormac McCarthy and Hemingway. I urge everyone to read it! Here’s a little taster from the first few pages: “While we slept, the war rubbed its thousand ribs against the ground in prayer. When we pressed onward through exhaustion, its eyes were white and open in the dark. While we ate, the war fasted, fed by its deprivation. It made love and gave birth and spread through fire.” — Sylvia
Constellation of Genius is the biography of modernism’s great year: 1922. Revolving around the two heavenly bodies of the modernist era — Eliot and Joyce — Jackson’s book works its way through the calendar months to highlight those events — jazz concerts, barfights and club openings included — that set the clock going on the 20th century’s greatest movement. A good read and great point of reference. — Terry
This is Dickens with a twist — or, rather, many twists — a true page turner with orphans, mad houses, pickpockets, double dealings, and even dirty books. I’d hate to spoil anything, so I’ll keep this short: Poor and lowly orphan Sue Trinder is persuaded by a group of thieves to trick lonely, isolated heiress Maud Lilly into accepting her as a lady’s maid in order to gain access to Maud’s vast fortune. Their plan succeeds, for a while. — Krista
Here is the picture described by Russian poet Nadhezda Volpin: “(…) Vladimir (Nabokov) would get out of a car with just a chess set and his butterfly collection while Vera would follow lugging two suitcases.” This scene is a perfect representation of what the lives of Anna Dostoyevsky, Sophia Tolstoy, Nadhiezda Mandelstam, Vera Nabokov, Elena Bulgakov and Natalia Solzhenitsyn were like. From giving inspiration and stimulation to acting as a technical help, the contribution of the wives of the greatest Russian writers to their work is remarkable and still very unrecognized by the majority of readers.

Alexandra Popoff gives us a complete and fascinating portrait written with empathy, admiration and an impressive knowledge of the women who sacrificed their lives, intellects, talents and ambitions in the name of literature, art, history and, of course, love. — Karolina
Jean Genet was the true enfant terrible of the twentieth century French literary scene. A thief, a vagrant, a beggar and unashamed homosexual lover of conmen and convicts, he gleefully inverted the virtues of his time and elevated vice to a pedestal. Yet in doing so and writing of his experiences in elegant, cut-glass prose Genet exposed an essential truth of the world that could not be easily belied, and led his contemporary Jean-Paul Sartre to call The Thief’s Journal “the most beautiful that Genet has written”. Arguably, Genet as a writer lies in anglophone culture as subservient to more famous classic French writers such as Camus or even Sartre himself, but as we the readers follow his autobiographical vagabond journey through Europe in this novel we begin to bond with his subversive outlook on society. As we do so we cut through the swathes of artificiality our own worlds might still be bound in now, and find a greater, more pertinent sense of our own concepts of art and life and love. — Patrick
POLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts) by Russell Norman Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (cookbook)
Postcards from Penguin (100 bookjackets / 100 Vogue covers / 100 New Yorker covers) Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin (biography)
Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream by Neil Young (autobiography) The Golden Age of Botanical Art by Martyn Rix (non-fiction)
The James Bond Archives by Paul Duncan (boxed) Building Stories by Chris Ware (boxed graphic novel)
Both Flesh and Not by David Foster Wallace (essays) This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers (children)
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (children) Six Fairy Tales from Brothers Grimm, illustrated by David Hockney (children)
Emily Dickinson Reader by Paul Legault (humour) Dads are the Original Hipsters by Brad Getty (humour)
We also have a fantastic selection of vintage photoplay editions, both in hardback and paperback, with great covers and illustrations featuring scenes from favourite movies. Several of the scarcest titles are listed on our rare books website (along with lots of other rare gem gift ideas) and many more are available in the shop. Prices range from 7€ to 450€.
Kevin Powers on The Yellow Birds
The future of Jewish fiction now that Philip Roth has retired

Douglas Coupland on storytelling and technology
I’m Hans Christian Anderson by Rachel Rose Reid

Beautiful ode to the life of George Whitman by Rachael Horowitz
Was Jack Kerouac really a hack?

Terry Pratchett on sex, death and nature
Interview with Orhan Pamuk

Terry Castle on Susan Sontag
Jonathan Safran Foer in The White Review

Successful film adaptations of literary classics

— George Whitman
On 14th December we are planning an informal gathering in the library to celebrate the life of George Whitman and mark his passing. We will post further details on our website and Facebook page in the next week.
JOIN US on Facebook and FOLLOW us on Twitter @Shakespeare_Co for daily shop updates, event announcements, and general bookshop-in-Paris notes.

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Shakespeare and Company

September Newsletter, Shakespeare and Company, Paris.

If you are lucky enough to be in Paris in September check out what events are on at Shakespeare and Company.

Monday 3 September 7.30pm
John Freeman on House of Stone by Anthony Shadid with Amin Maalouf, Ed Cody, Katia Jarjoura and Jihane Chouaib Wednesday 5 September 4pm
Brief signing with Ron Rash
Monday 10 September 7pm
Noel Riley Fitch, Rick Tulka and John Baxter on Paris cafés
Wednesday 12 September 3pm
Children’s hour with Kate Stables in the Library
Wednesday 12 September 5pm
Acoustic performance by Alyssa Graham Friday 21 September 6pm
Philosophers in the Library Lex Paulson on American democracy
Thursday 20 September – Sunday 23rd September
Festival America at Vincennes with author signings at our stand.
September is la rentrée littéraire when all French publishers release some of the most exciting titles of the year – here at Shakespeare and Company we’re buoyed up after a long warm August recommending books and flitting off to the sea at weekends.
This month we’re collaborating with one of Paris’s biggest festivals, concentrating on American literature, Festival Americafrom 20 – 23 September. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the festival hosts over 70 authors from over 13 countries. There will be readings, discussions and debates on a range of subjects, as well as writing workshops, films, concerts and art exhibitions. Authors participating include Toni Morrison, Wells Tower, Karen Russell, Aleksander Hemon, Patrick deWitt, Teju Cole and Vendela Vida and we will be the only stand selling books in English – all anglophone writers will do signings at our stand – so come and visit us! To get you into the spirit, see our book recommendations below from authors attending Festival America.
We’re thrilled to announce the forthcoming release of Shakespeare and Company: A Brief History of a Parisian Bookstore, a booklet chronicling the history of the shop. We delved deep into the bookstore’s archives to find the most gorgeous photographs, compelling historical documents, and terrific anecdotes–collecting them together in this single, exquisite volume. It’s a taster of the larger book we will publish early next year. The booklet includes an essay by Sylvia Whitman (owner of the shop and daughter of founder George Whitman), along with writing from Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Anaïs Nin, Tumbleweeds, and Allen Ginsberg, who penned a poem extolling George Whitman and the store. The booklet debuts mid September, but we’re taking pre-orders at the website now – and the first 500 copies purchased through the site will be signed by Sylvia and inked by the Shakespeare and Company stamp. Don’t delay!
Don’t forget if you are unable to come to a particular event and want a signed copy of one of the author’s books (we can also post it to you) please email Alice.

Most events take place upstairs in the library (seats 40), on the ground level (seats 50) or outside in front of the bookshop. The sound from the reading and discussions are projected around the entire bookshop during the events. We recommend you arrive 15– 30 minutes early to try to get a seat as there is limited space.
Granta’s John Freeman presents House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family and a Lost Middle East by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anthony Shadid, who passed away last year. John will be in discussion with one of France’s most acclaimed writers, Amin Maalouf; Shadid’s colleague from the Washington Post, Ed Cody; journalist/filmmaker Katia Jarjoura (and friend of Shadid’s) and Jihane Chouaib, the director of the documentary Dream Country. House of Stone ‘…offers a powerful reminder of the impact that never-ending insecurity has on people long after the violence that ruined their lives has been forgotten by the rest of the world.’New York Times
In spring 2011, Anthony Shadid was one of four New York Times reporters captured in Libya, cuffed and beaten, as that country was seized by revolution. When he was freed, he went home. Not to Boston or Beirut where he lives or to Oklahoma City, where his Lebanese-American family had settled. Instead, he returned to his great-grandfather’s estate in Lebanon, a house that, over three years earlier, Shadid had begun to rebuild.House of Stone is the story of a battle-scarred home and a war correspondent’s jostled spirit, and of how reconstructing the one came to fortify the other. Shadid creates a mosaic of past and present, tracing the house’s renewal alongside his family’s flight from Lebanon and resettlement in America. He memorializes a lost world and provides profound insights into this volatile landscape.House of Stone is an unforgettable meditation on war, exile, rebirth and the universal yearning for home.
Come for a *brief signing* by Ron Rash, award-winning poet, short-story writer and novelist. His most recent story collection, Burning Bright, won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and his novel, Serena, was a New York Times bestseller and the movie based on this will premiere in Cannes next May. His latest novel, The Cove, is a gloriously dark work of historical fiction set in the Appalachian mountains (Irving Welsh has just written the screenplay). ‘appears to derive quiet, almost religious, pleasure in descriptive clarity, so that sentences become little paradigms of the events they describe … because of its simplicity, the hard won elegance of its telling, it stays singularly in the mind after it has finished’ – Tim Adams, The Observer.
Noel Riley Fitch, Rick Tulka and John Baxter will discuss the Paris café and its central role in art and literature. Why is the Paris café central to artistic history? How is the café portrayed in art and literature? What has the café offered the artist? What historical events have occurred in cafés? Why are its numbers diminishing and what future can we foresee?
Three distinguished panel members will discuss these and other questions: Rick Tulka, who has drawn the clientele and staff at the café Le Select almost every afternoon for over 17 years; Noel Riley Fitch, author of three books on the history of cafes, including one with Rick Tulka (Paris Café: the Select Crowd); and John Baxter, author of The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris.
Music, rhythm and stories for kids: Bring your children (2-6 year-olds, siblings welcome too) to the library at Shakespeare and Company for an hour of music, songs and stories in English (for all nationalities even those who don’t speak English!). Led by the magic Kate Stables, mum and singer/songwriter from This is the Kit. There will be instruments to play and noise to make! 4 euros donation appreciated.
Come and hear an acoustic concert (upstairs in the library or outside if it’s fine) with the stunning American musician Alyssa Graham. Blending ’60s folk rock with hints of Neil Young, Nick Drake and Bob Dylan, Alyssa’s Lock, Stock & Soulhas garnered praise from all corners including The Huffington Post, AOL Music, Paste Magazine, Daytrotter, Marie Claire andAmerican Songwriter. Her debut album,Echo, was chosen by The New York Times as a Critics’ Choice CD. “The right voice…a sumptuous and flexible croon”
– New York Times
The September edition of Philosophers in the Library will centre on the roots, troubles and redemption of American democracy. Led by Lex Paulson – a veteran of the Obama campaign and author of the “Applied Classics” series, who’s currently pursuing a philosophy PhD at the Sorbonne–the talk will explore the subject with the help of two illuminating texts, Polybius’s Histories and Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. A Greek captive in 2nd-century BC Rome, Polybius wrote the seminal account of how Rome’s balanced constitution accelerated her conquest of the known world; Rome’s republican system, in turn, was the primary influence upon America’s founding generation as its new republic was born. De Tocqueville, a young French aristocrat sent to study American prisons in the 1830’s, produced instead the most insightful, readable, and enduring account ever written on America and its civic life.
What light do these ancient texts shed on the campaign of 2012? Can American democracy, for all its dysfunction, still be saved? Copies of the two texts will be available ahead of time (in the library? behind the front desk?). See you in the library!

See some of the authors at Festival America
The Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison’s 10th book, Home, centres on the tragic homecoming of Korean War veteran Frank Money. After escaping barefoot from the hospital where he is locked up Frank begins his long journey south to Georgia. Faced with an America which is still as violent and racially divided as he left it Frank must also contend with the close memories of battlefield horrors and lives which slipped through his fingers. Through a series of vignettes the story expands with a cast of characters from Frank’s hometown of Lotus. Tragedies of war are met with tragedies at home but the difference between the two battlefields is that in Korea the enemy had a name. For the people living back in Lotus the way forward is more difficult to grasp. With Home Morrison has assembled a truly fascinating picture of America on the cusp of civil rights revolution. –Grove
Undoubtedly one of the most complex and intricate plots I have ever come across, and any attempt to summarise here would be futile. Suffice to say Nicole Krauss manages to connect two narratives which connect an old man in search of his son and a young girl searching for a cure to her widowed mother´s loneliness. It is a long lost book “The History of Love”, which is at the centre of all the parallel texts which are woven together into a dense and rich tapestry.

It is stylistically very inventive and Krauss´s writing is instantly addictive, tender and precise. Unusual, imaginative and in the end deeply moving. A superb novel.
– Lola
I loved this book. Read it! I haven’t felt so transported into fictional lives since reading Franzen’s Freedom last year. As you may get from the novel’s title, the book is set in north-west London and that area is certainly one of its vibrant characters. Meet Leah, who is hesitant to grow up, and her best friend Keisha, the seemingly successful lawyer with a perfect family. Smith deals with dialogue brilliantly in this book. One of the most memorable moments in the text is the depiction of adolescence and women turning 30 in list-form and Skype message. – Sylvia
A powerful and unsettling exploration of friendship and the concept of debts owed to those who are closest to us. There is no whiff of First Novel about this one at all, it is an incredibly accomplished debut drawing comparisons – with good reason – with the likes of Steinbeck, Faulkner and McCarthy. A murky story, seriously told. – Linda
Franzen calledLeaving the Atocha Station ‘hilarious and crackingly intelligent, fully alive and original in every sentence’ and oh yes it is. I was laughing out loud a few pages in. Lerner is also a poet and his writing is rich, and exacting, capturing life in all of its weirdness. There’s something heartening about this awkward self-conscious narrator and Lerner really gets what it is to be young, artistic and alien in a foreign city. -Jemma
This is a romance set in America’s near future where every functioning member of society is perpetually virtually attuned thanks to their personal äppärät, the iPad’s descendant, and the only reliable dollar in the declining economy is “yuan-pegged.” In this bleak future, a very average Lenny Abramov (taking after his Chekhovian role models) kindles a relationship with a tortured twenty-something, Eunice Park, and the two of them cling to each other as the world falls apart around them. The eloquence and intelligence of Shteyngart’s prose becomes increasingly evident as the novel continues, vacillating between Lenny’s diary entries and Eunice’s blog posts. Shteyngart paints a picture of a recognizable future: one that is simultaneously despicable and predictable, hilarious and heart-wrenching, in this fast-paced, creative, and sincere novel. -Amelia
Unlike What is the What and Zeitoun, A Hologram for the King is not based on a true story, and its main character is anything but heroic. Alan Clay, a divorced senior salesman, is sent by his company to Saudi Arabia to present to King Abdullah a new hologram communication device that could equip the new King Abdullah Economic City. When he gets there with his young team, Alan discovers that the high-tech utopia is still at a very theoretical stage-a canal, some palm trees, a few glass buildings in the middle of the desert-and that King Abdullah’s date of visit is very uncertain. The story turns into a Beckettian novel about waiting. Alan is waiting for the King, waiting for money to pay for his daughter’s tuition fee, waiting for something that will extract him from his state of apathy. The numerous and surprising encounters Alan makes give the story its fast rhythm, its lightness, and its warmth. And like in a Beckett tale, we laugh, we reflect, we wonder. Eggers starts the novel with a quote by Beckett: “It is not every day that we are needed.” There is sense of uselessness engendered by global capitalism. Through Alan’s memories and experience as an entrepreneur, Eggers offers an allegory of the decline of the United States, a country that lost a big chunk of its industry (and pride) to the Chinese and other new economies … a country now selling holograms in the desert. -David

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The Paris Literary Prize

Writers around the world who have not yet published a book, now is your chance!
More details can be found on the Shakespeare and Company website.
About The Prize
The Paris Literary Prize is an international novella competition for unpublished writers. Any topic is welcome.
Shakespeare and Company has a long-standing tradition of opening its doors to aspiring writers and in keeping with that philosophy, the 10,000€ Paris Literary Prize is open to writers from around the world who have not yet published a book.
We have long been admirers of the novella, a genre which includes such classics as The Old Man and the Sea, Animal Farm, L’Étranger and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. The Paris Literary Prize celebrates this small but perfectly formed genre while giving a unique opportunity to writers whose voices have not yet been heard.
There are three Paris Literary Prize awards:

The Paris Literary Prize award: 10,000 Euros
Two Paris Literary Prize Runner-up awards: 2,000 Euros each
All three winners will be invited to a weekend stay in Paris to attend the
Prize ceremony and read from their work at a special event at
Shakespeare and Company.
Last year, the winner of the Paris Literary Prize was Rosa Rankin-Gee for The Last Kings of Sark ; the two runners-up were Adam Biles for Grey Cats, and Agustin Maes for Newborn.
Selection Process & Jury
The selection process for the Paris Literary Prize occurs in two phases. First, our dedicated team of readers (numbering 12 in 2011) goes through each submission in search of exceptional stories, voices and craft and a long list of roughly 10% of entrants is then chosen for closer inspection. After many hours of reading and debate, this is again reduced to form the short list, between 10 and 15 entrants. This is where our Jury takes over, spending a month with the texts before selecting the winner and two runners-up.
To ensure the quality and diversity of the selections, each submission is considered by several readers (for instance, in 2011 each text was viewed at least five times).
The identity of all entrants is withheld throughout the process.
2012 Jury
Erica Wagner will again be chairing the jury for this year’s prize, with the remaining members to be decided shortly. For the list of 2011 readers and jury go to the Paris Literary Prize site.

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Angels in Disguise

Shakespeare and Company, Paris

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Shakespeare and Company – Paris June 2012 Newsletter

For any of you lucky enough to be in Paris in June this year take a visit to Shakespeare and Company
Shakespeare and Company Newsletter June 2012

JUNE 2012
Wednesday 6 June 7pm
Nick Flynn, Ben Marcus, Robert Coover (fiction,& Now) Thursday 7 June 7pm
Jennifer Egan (fiction)
Wednesday 13 June 5pm
Debra Spark (lecture on writing in the library) Thursday 14 June 7pm
Erotiques by EE Cummings (bilingual readings outside)
Friday 15 June 6pm
Daniel Leven Becker on Oulipo (Philosophers in the Library) Saturday 16 June 3pm
Readings of Ulysses for Bloomsday by Jacques Lecoq actors (outside)
Monday 18 June 7pm
Adam Thirlwell Kaboom! (fiction) followed by Whim ‘n Rhythm (acapella) Monday 25 June 7.30pm
Lydia Davis (fiction, NYU series)
Wednesday 27 June 7.30pm
Dinaw Mengestu, Darin Strauss, Chris Adrian and Colson Whitehead (Granta panel chaired by John Freeman, NYU series)
June brings many wonderful warm, long days in Paris and an incredible selection of events at Shakespeare and Company. There will be a talk on the Oulipo as part of our Philosophers in the Library series and we’ll start our summer collaboration with New York University with some of America’s most interesting writers – and of course it’s Bloomsday! Come and celebrate James Joyce and one of the most important books ever published with readings outside under our tree. And in honour of our beat heritage and the release of the recent film On the Road, come and get your new or rare copy of Kerouac’s classic. Outside of the bookshop go and see Le Marché de la Poésie from June 14-17 at Place Saint Sulpice.

Colette Pillion (If you do not see the image, click here to view it)

Researching the Shakespeare and Company archives for the history book we are working on, we discovered the beautiful Colette Pillon, who in 1963 – when she was only 18 – founded the business Mademoiselle de Paris out of the bookshop. She provided tourists with personal guides to Paris. Guides were required to be students from good families, pretty, age 20 to 25, familiar with Paris, and fluent in multiple languages. When asked by a journalist whether any of the tours had ended in romance, she answered with a surprised look, ‘Mais pour un etranger, une jeune fille française, une Parisienne, est intouchable.’
In other news, the deadline for The Paris Literary Prize for a novella has just been announced – 1 September 2012. It’s open to unpublished writers from all around the world. The winner will receive €10,000 and the two runners-up will receive€2,000. All winners will be invited to Paris to attend the prize ceremony and read at Shakespeare and Company.
This month events are scheduled at various times and please note there will be limited seats for NYU events as students will have priority for those particular events. The sound from the reading and discussions are projected around the entire bookshop during the events. We recommend you arrive 15-30 minutes early to try to get a seat as there is limited space. Sauf mention contraire, les lectures se déroulent en langue anglaise. Elles ont lieu lelundi à 19 heures dans la bibliothèque (library – 40 places assises) ou au rez-de-chaussée (50 places assises). Les lectures et débats sont également diffusés en direct à l’aide de hauts-parleurs dans l’ensemble de la librairie. Nous vous suggérons d’arriver 15 à 30 minutes à l’avance afin de vous garantir une place assise.
New Orleans-based ‘The Collective’ is visiting Paris with their show UnRoute at the Pavé d’Orsay at 8pm on Friday 1st June, and will also be performing outside Shakespeare & Company on Saturday 2nd June at 5pm. UnRoute is a contemporary cabaret of theatrical vignettes presented from multiple viewpoints both in and out of our minds. A sprawling interdisciplinary experience of physical theater, dance, story-telling and live music, UnRoute encourages audiences as well as artists to follow different routes, and uproots them from the mundane to a world where anything is possible.
Tonight in collaboration with Paris’s& Now Festival of New Writing (6-10 June at Université de la Sorbonne) we welcome three of America’s most innovative writers, Robert Coover, Ben Marcus and Nick Flynn. They will be presented by Davis Shneiderman, co-founder of &Now and a writer and Professor at Lake Forest College.
Robert Coover is one of America’s pioneering postmodernists ‘one of the most original and exciting writers around. Every new book from him is great news.’ – McSweeney’s
Ben Marcus is the author of four books of fiction, the most recent The Flame Alphabet. ‘Ben Marcus is the rarest kind of writer: a necessary one. It’s become impossible to imagine the literary world -the world itself- without his daring, mind-bending and heartbreaking writing.’
- Jonathan Safran Foer
Nick Flynn is the author of three collections of poetry and two memoirs. Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (Being Flynn) is a ‘stunningly beautiful memoir’ (San Francisco Chronicle) which was recently made into a film with starring Robert De Niro and Paul Dano.
In collaboration with Editions Stock, we’re thrilled to welcome Jennifer Egan to present her brilliant novel, and one of the most talked-about books in recent times, A Visit From The Goon Squad. It was both the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, a National Book Critics Circle Award Winner and a PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist. There will also be a short reading from the recently published French edition Qu’avons-nous fait de nos rêves ? ‘A spiky, shape-shifting new book … A display of Egan’s extreme virtuosity.’
- The New York Times
Jennifer Egan is the author of The Keep, Look at Me, The Invisible Circus, and the story collection Emerald City. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, GQ, Zoetrope, All-Story, and Ploughshares, and her nonfiction appears frequently in The New York Times Magazine.
A lecture on writing in the library by author Debra Spark on ‘The Trigger: Where Do Stories Come From?’ Where do writers get their ideas? Overheard conversations, personal history, dreams, stray remarks. This one-hour lecture talks about inspiration by referencing writers as various as Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Ivan Turgenev, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joan Didion, and John Irving. For writers at any level -true beginners; those who want to get jumpstarted on a new project; those who may be stuck in their own work; or those who would just like to have a conversation about the imagination.
In celebration of Paris’s Marché de la Poésie join us for an evening of bilingual readings of Erotiques by one of our favourite American poets E.E.Cummings. There will be readings from Lola Peploe, Laura Piani and the book’s translator Jacques Demarcq. Published by Editions Seghers, this new bilingual French and English book is a collection of Cumming’s most beautiful poems and erotic drawings.
A l’occasion de l’ouverture du Marché de la poésie, nous vous convions le 14 juin 2012 à une lecture des poèmes du virtuose E. E. Cummings dont les Editions Seghers publient une anthologie bilingue de textes et dessins érotiques. Cette anthologie couvre quarante ans de la vie de Cummings, des années 1920 aux années 1960, reflétant les expériences du poète qui sera marié à Elaine, puis Anne et enfin Marion. Dans son oeuvre, l’érotisme apparaît comme une esthétique du partage, une communion avec la nature et ses cycles, une fenêtre ouverte sur le mystère de la vie. Depuis plus de trente ans, le poète Jacques Demarcq traduit Cummings avec la même passion du rire et du rythme.
As part of our Philosophers in the Library series come and hear Daniel Levin Becker, author of Many Subtle Channels, discussing the intriguing Parisian collective the Oulipo. Here’s an excerpt from his book published in The Believer to whet your appetite. Please note, his event in the Library has limited space, first in first seated.
The Oulipo is a collective of writers and scientists founded in 1960 to explore the possibilities of using mathematical and linguistic structures to generate literature. Since its inception, the Oulipo has yielded such curious experiments as the first choose-your-own-adventure fiction in history; a mystery novel written without the letter E; a romance novel in which the respective genders of the lovers are never specified; a children’s story featuring a code that took readers over twenty-five years to decipher; a book of poems made from anagrams of the names of Parisian métro stations; and a set of ten identically rhymed sonnets printed on flaps that can be combinatorially manipulated by the enterprising reader to create, at least in theory, one hundred trillion distinct poems. Many Subtle Channels is a book about the Oulipo from the perspective of a young American who went to Paris to learn whether these people were, you know, serious about all this, and returned a full-fledged Oulipian. He will be on hand to read from his book, discuss the guises of ‘potential literature’ in the real world, and gingerly entertain your most incredulous questions.
Tonight British writer Adam Thirlwell will discuss his new book Kapow! Exploding with unfolding pages and multiple directions, Kaboom! is set in the thick of the Arab Spring, guided by the high-speed monologue of an unnamed narrator -over-doped, over-caffeinated, overweight- trying to make sense of this history in real time. Afterwards there will be acapella with Whim ‘n Rhythm, Yale’s all-senior, all-female acappella group.
Adam Thirlwell is the author of two novels,Politics and The Escape, and a book on the international art of the novel. He is the guest editor of an issue ofMcSweeney’s magazine, to come out in Winter 2012.
In collaboration with New York University’s summer writing programme we present one of America’s most original and influential writers and translatorsLydia Davis. ‘Sharp, deft, ironic, understated, and consistently surprising.’ -Joyce Carol Oates ‘Davis is a magician of self- consciousness. Few writers now working make the words on the page matter more.’ – Jonathan Franzen
Lydia Davis’s books include a novel, The End of the Story, four full-length story collections -Varieties of Disturbance, Samuel Johnson Is Indignant, Almost No Memory, and Break It Down- and several small-press and limited-edition volumes. Davis works as a translator of French literature and philosophy, and is well known for her translation of Proust’s Du côté de chez Swann, which earned her wide critical acclaim. Her other translations include books by Gustav Flaubert, Maurice Blanchot, Pierre Jean Jouve, and Michel Leiris. She has won many of the major American writing awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship for fiction, and was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. She was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. See a great interviewwith her in The Believer.
In collaboration with NYU’s summer writing programme we present some of American’s most exciting writers, Dinaw Mengestu, Darin Strauss, Chris Adrian and Colson Whitehead, in a panel chaired by Granta’s John Freeman on The Worst, Terrible Thing. The writers will discuss how each of them has written into the heart of a horror (of some sort) and emerged with a story.
Tuesday 19 June at 6.30pm: As part of the Australian Embassy’s NAIDOC celebrations, Australian historian Bill Gammage will present his acclaimed work The Biggest Estate on Earth – How Aborigines made Australia. For more information please contact Michele DuMont.

Friday 22 June at 12.30pm at the Australian Embassy Food historian Barbara Santich, will present ‘Bold Palates – Australia’s Gastronomic Heritage’ For more information please contact Michele DuMont

There was a young writer named Chad
Who gave writing all that he had
His characters played ball,
They would rise, they would fall,
‘n’ once they were done, I was sad.
I’m also half way through a fascinating novel called With the Animals by Noëlle Revaz which I will write about next month once I have finished it, and while I have not yet started the much-hyped Naked Singularity by Sergio de la Pava, its high impact swirly jacket keeps catching my eye every time I pass our fiction table (on average 57 times a day), so I reckon I might start it any day now … –Linda
Published by J&L Books this is a selection of refreshingly odd, absurdist short stories / vignettes / aphorisms. They’re sort of parables about the inanity of our days –funny, weird and somehow honest. The narration has this particularly deadpan tone underlying all the stories that I loved. It reminded me of how fiction can be a flexible playful thing and anything is possible. With chapter titles so good you don’t know which one to choose first: Strong Male Presence, Police, Physically, Foreign Painter, One Theory About My Marriage’. The story ‘Edgar’ starts: That was already more than Edgar was prepared for. The young lady sat on his knees. Edgar had enough trouble keeping his balance to begin with. Slowly the young woman was trying to break down Ed’s confidence. ‘You will never be a writer of pornography, Edgar, you just don’t have what it takes.’
Another J&L title in our antiquarian is one of the rare remaining copies of photographic book,Dancing Pictures which I also love for its quirk.– Jemma
This fascinating account of the historical no-man’s land between the end of the war and the economic boom of the 1950s presents Europe as a hellish disaster zone. 1946 saw the ravaged European landscape swarming with gangs of orphaned children, traumatised refugees, brutalised soldiers, former slaves, and holocaust survivors. All these millions of people were looking to return home, to places which had been obliterated, often in turn, by the Nazis, by allied bombing and by the Red Army.
Modern Europe was built over these traumas and Keith Lowe presents a balanced portrait of how ineffectually this savage continent was rehabilitated. Required reading for anyone with an interest in the future of the European Union. – Saara
I’ve never read any poetry by the 2011 Nobel Prize Winner Tomas Transtromer so I thought this attractive, slim volume looking back at his life as a streak of light, the form of a comet would be a good introduction. It’s a collection of memories pinpricked throughout his childhood: vague, important, unimportant memories that stand alone and clear to him and are very telling. His devoted school teacher Mother and absence of his Father; the first time he experienced death, at 5, having lost the secure grip of his Mother’s hand in a frenzied crowd; his collection of beetles and realisation that the ground was alive, that there was an infinite world of creeping and flying things living their own rich life without paying the least regard to us; his hatred of the Nazis and his political engagement at the age of 9 and his discovery of poetry in Latin classes with a furious teacher. Read this in one sitting: it’s moving, reflective and timeless. We always feel younger than we are. I carry inside myself my earlier faces, as a tree contains its ring. The sum of “them” is me. The mirror sees only my latest face, while I know all my previous ones.– Sylvia
My better half and I spent last week sleeping amongst the shelves, not at Shakespeare and Company as might immediately spring to mind, but at Atlantis Books. Upon returning to Paris our hearts’ gossamers remain attached to the place and it would be crude to cite as sole cause the shop’s beauty, which their website keenly evidences. Perhaps it’s that selling books here happens as naturally as laughing, drinking raki, building desks, swimming, recording their podcast or telling stories late into the night. They’re fighting the good fight, publishing beautiful books and welcoming the passerby. May they weather the storm of Greece’s financial woes and may readers of this newsletter help them do so: visit, buy a book and tell them a good story.
In preparation of Lydia Davis’s reading at the bookshop later this month, readWings and
Sample the intriguing John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Sources for the Princes inThe Paris Review
Miss Lora fiction by Junot Diaz and
Adam Gopnik on Can Science Explain Why We Tell Stories in The New Yorker
Listen to Marilynne Robinson in The Guardian’s books podcast
Mark Ford on Pound Writers Home in The London Review of Books

Jared Diamond on What Makes Countries Rich or Poor and
Kushinagar(originally in French in publication XXI) by Joe Saccoin The New York Review of Books
An interview with Jonathan Safran Foer in The White Review

Diane Arbus

Jack Kerouac
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