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A flaneur is a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles through a city without apparent purpose but is secretly attuned to the history of the place and in covert search of adventure, esthetic or erotic. Edmund White, who lived in Paris for sixteen years, wanders through the streets and avenues and along the quays, taking us into parts of Paris virtually unknown to visitors and indeed to many Parisians. Entering the Marais evokes the history of Jews in France, just as a visit to the Haynes Grill recalls the presence-festive, troubled-of black Americans in Paris for a century and a half. Gays, Decadents, even Royalists past and present are all subjected to the flaneur's scrutiny. Edmund White's The Flaneur is opinionated, personal, subjective. As he conducts us through the bookshops and boutiques, past the monuments and palaces, filling us in on the gossip and background of each site, he allows us to see through the blank walls and past the proud edifices and to glimpse the inner, human drama. Along the way he recounts everything from the latest debates among French law-makers to the juicy details of Colette's life in the Palais Royal, even summoning up the hothouse atmosphere of Gustave Moreau's atelier.
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Promotional Information

A stroll through the paradoxes of Paris.

About the Author

Edmund White is the author of many books including A Boy's Own Story and most recently The Married Man. He has been made an officer in the French Order of Arts and Letters and last year received a literary prize from the Festival of Deauville. Ten of his books have been translated into French, including his magisterial biography of Jean Genet.

Reviews

One has the impression, reading The Flaneur, of having fallen into the hands of a highly distractible, somewhat eccentric poet and professor who is determined to show you a Paris you wouldn't otherwise see ... Edmund White tells such a good story that I'm ready to to listen to anything he wants to talk about. New York Times Book Review White's charming book is for literati, voyeurs and aesthetes, and for travelers who love familiar terrain from a different viewpoint. Publishers Weekly Lovely. Los Angeles Times Brilliant. Village Voice Vibrantly evocative. Elle

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