Shakespeare and Company, Paris: A History of the Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart
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Shakespeare and Company, Paris: A History of the Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart

4.62 (111 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

George Whitman opened his bookstore in a tumbledown 16th-century building just across the Seine from Notre-Dame in 1951, a decade after the original Shakespeare and Company had closed. Run by Sylvia Beach, it had been the meeting place for the Lost Generation and the first publisher of James Joyce's Ulysses. (This book includes an illustrated adaptation of Beach's memoir.) Since Whitman picked up the mantle, Shakespeare and Company has served as a home-away-from-home for many celebrated writers, from Jorge Luis Borges to Ray Bradbury, A.M. Homes to Dave Eggers, as well as for young authors and poets. Visitors are invited not only to read the books in the library and to share a pot of tea, but sometimes also to live in the shop itself - all for free. More than 30,000 people have stayed at Shakespeare and Company, fulfilling Whitman's vision of a 'socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore'. Through the prism of the shop's history, the book traces the lives of literary expats in Paris from 1951 to the present, touching on the Beat Generation, civil rights, May '68 and the feminist movement - all while pondering that perennial literary question, 'What is it about writers and Paris?'.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 159 x 240 x 35.56mm | 1,020g
  • Shakespeare and Company
  • Paris, France
  • English
  • 109610100I
  • 9791096101009
  • 55,681

Review quote

Even if you have never entered Shakespeare and Company, this book evokes redolent mustiness, the creaking and crinking of readers shifting in their chairs, the sound of iconic authors turning pages as they read to a rapt audience. It is the familiarity of imagination transporting you to times and places you may or may not have been, and in doing so a sense of this place's personality becomes undeniably present, so much so that you might feel you were there too when Italo Calvino and Pablo Neruda drank wine from empty tuna tins.--Buzz Poole "Lithub "show more

About Krista Halverson

Krista Halverson is the director of Shakespeare and Company bookstore's publishing venture. Previously, she was the managing editor of Zoetrope: All-Story, the art and literary quarterly published by Francis Ford Coppola, which has won several National Magazine Awards for Fiction and numerous design prizes. She was responsible for the magazine's art direction, working with guest designers including Lou Reed, Kara Walker, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Zaha Hadid, Wim Wenders and Tom Waits, among others. Jeanette Winterson's first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was published in 1985. In 1992 she was one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. She has won numerous awards and is published around the world. Her memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, was an international bestseller. Her latest novel, The Gap of Time, is a "cover version" of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.Sylvia Whitman is the owner of Shakespeare and Company bookstore, which her father opened in 1951. She took on management of the shop in 2004, when she was 23, and now co-manages the bookstore with her partner, David Delannet. Together they have opened an adjoining cafe, as well as launched a literary festival, a contest for unpublished novellas and a publishing arm.show more

Rating details

111 ratings
4.62 out of 5 stars
5 68% (76)
4 25% (28)
3 6% (7)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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