Perhaps you have already been to Paris and seen with your own eyes all that makes it famous. But if you have not been here yet and are only dreaming of a trip, we offer you a book journey through the city that inspired writers of many generations.
In literary works, Paris is not just a city of coffee and pastries, of light and beauty, as well as a city with dark sides such as noisy boulevards, dangerous outskirts, and nighttime entertainment. The book selection presented below will help broaden your understanding of Paris and immerse you in its unique atmosphere.
1. Victoria Mas' novel, The Ball of the Mad, takes us back to late 19th century Paris - a time when disobedient women were sent to psychiatric clinics. It was here that the renowned neurologist, Jean-Martin Charcot, organized an unusual costume ball with his patients at the Salpêtrière hospital. And guess what? The entire Parisian high society attended this spectacle! The fates of different women intersected at this dreadful and frenzied celebration. So, what went down exactly at The Ball of the Mad? The Salpêtrière hospital and the Parisian "balls of the mad" are real historical events. And in case you're wondering, this book made it to the top 100 most significant books of 2019 according to Lire magazine.
2. Anne Berest, a novel "The Perfect Woman is Required". The main character is Emilienne Cramo, a successful photographer. Recently, her friend Julie, whom everyone considered tireless and extremely cheerful, ended up in a psychiatric clinic with burnout syndrome. This prompts Emilienne to think about creating a photo exhibition "The Perfect Woman", dedicated to modern women who are admired and wanted to be like them. The task is simple - to find such women, take their portraits and hear their stories. A pastor's widow, whom many call "holy", the owner of a popular restaurant in Venice, a Frenchwoman of Italian origin who managed to purchase fabrics in Delhi, a former escort girl who became involved in a scandal with the French national football team. 14 chapters - 14 women, each with its own tragedy, secrets, and truth. Emilienne herself, in her search for an ideal, will also encounter betrayal, disappointment, and love.
3. Beginning of the 19th century. France. Ambitious and very attractive Julien Sorel becomes a governess to the mayor of the provincial town of Verrier. The extraordinary intelligence and manners of the young man charm everyone around him, including the official's wife. However, one day, a "well-wisher" learns about their secret relationship. Julien's career and life are at risk. But can't the woman in love deal with this?.. "The Red and the Black" (1830) is the most famous work of Stendhal, but it only brought fame to its creator many years after his death. As we know, Stendhal took a note from a Grenoble newspaper as the basis for the plot, apparently the fate of the main character was typical for that time. But even after almost two centuries, little has changed. Neither in the ways to make money and become famous, nor in the secrets of seducing women and conducting love intrigues.