Books Events for A PASSION FOR PARIS: Manchester Center (VT), Boston, NYC, Frederick (MD), Washington, DC, Charlottesville (VA), Durham (SC), SF Bay Area (many), Portland, Seattle, Victoria, BC.
Here's a link with details of our nationwide schedule: http://www.davidddownie.com/David_D._Downie/paris/paris-paris-2/a-passion-for-paris-romanticism-and-romance-in-the-city-of-light-book-tour-spring-2015/
About the book:
A PASSION FOR PARIS: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light is a combination of memoir, history, and travelogue, an irreverent quest to uncover why Paris is (or is claimed to be) the world’s most romantic city—and has been for over 150 years.
So far the reactions have been more than encouraging: two starred reviews in prestigious but famously “cranky” Kirkus Reviews and also in BookList. These are the librarians’, booksellers’ and reviewers’ references. Here’s an excerpt from each:
“Downie is the consummate guide... encyclopedic knowledge of the city and its magical story. Anyone who loves Paris will adore this joyful book.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[I]ntrepidly researched, entrancingly descriptive, ruminative, funny, and revealing… provocative… exquisitely written… a gorgeously discursive and affecting homage to Paris’ ‘great Romantics,’ and to the city itself, redolent with art, literature, and longing.”—Donna Seaman, BOOKLIST (starred review)
A Passion for Paris is about Paris’s secluded, atmospheric parks, artists’ studios, cafes, restaurants and streets little changed since the 1800s, a treasure hunt exuding romance. The art and architecture, the cityscape, riverbanks, and the unparalleled quality of daily life are part of the romantic equation.
But the city’s allure derives equally from hidden sources: querulous inhabitants, a bizarre culture of heroic negativity, and a rich historical past supplying enigmas, pleasures and challenges—things it took me decades to begin to understand. The glamor and chic and the carefree atmosphere of the City of Light grew from and still feed off the dark fountainheads of riot, rebellion, mayhem and melancholy—and the subversive literature, art and music of the Romantic Age.
In the book I weave the story of my own life in Paris with the lives and loves of Victor Hugo, Georges Sand, Charles Baudelaire, Balzac, Nadar and other great Romantics thrilling in the city’s secular romantic pilgrimage sites and asking myself, Why Paris, not Venice or Rome—the tap root of "romance"—or Berlin, Vienna and London—where the earliest Romantics built castles-in-the-air and sang odes to nightingales?