Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Visiting Paris?

A man with a great appreciation of what makes Paris tick.” —Newsday

From the author of Immoveable Feast and We’ll Always Have Paris this guided tour (published 2011) of the most beautiful walks through the City of Light, includes the favourite walking routes of the many of the acclaimed artists and writers who have called Paris their home. 
Baxter highlights hidden treasures along the Seine, treasured markets at Place d’Aligre, the favorite ambles of Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and Sylvia Beach, and more, in a series of intimate vignettes that evoke the best parts of Paris’s many charms. Baxter’s unforgettable chronicle reveals how walking is the best way to experience romance, history, and pleasures off the beaten path . . . not only of La Ville-Lumière, but also, perhaps, of life itself.

Thrust into the unlikely role of professional "literary walking tour" guide, Aussie born writer John Baxter provides the most irresistibly witty and revealing tour of Paris.
In this enchanting memoir, the acclaimed author and long- time Paris resident  remembers his year-long experience of giving "literary walking tours" through the city. Baxter sets off with unsuspecting tourists in tow on the trail of Paris's legendary artists and writers of the past.

Along the way, he tells the history of Paris through a brilliant cast of characters: the favorite cafés of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce; Pablo Picasso's underground Montmartre haunts; the bustling boulevards of the late-nineteenth-century flâneurs; the secluded "Little Luxembourg" gardens beloved by Gertrude Stein; the alleys where revolutionaries plotted; and finally Baxter's own favorite walk near his home in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. 

If you are planning a visit to Paris make sure you have a copy of this book with you. I bought it last time I was there in 2011 but it would have been better had I read it in advance of my visit. Actually even if you are not going to Paris it still makes for a most interesting, entertaining and delightful read.

And if you are going to Paris you can book a literary walk with John Baxter.  
The walks are usually 2 1/2 hours, concluding with a light lunch in his apartment. Further details can be found on his website

And I have just heard from him this morning that he has a new book coming from Harper Collins later in the year, The Perfect Meal. He even sent me a cover image. The map on the cover is based on one in a French railway magazine of the 1930s.

I am just waiting to hear back from the publisher re the publication date and price. Watch this space.

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