Seems your trusty Literature Editor isn’t the only one caught under the spell of the French capital – new anthology We’ll Never Have Paris brings together new fiction, poetry and essays inspired by the City of Lights by just shy of 80 writers from the UK, Ireland, USA, Australia and New Zealand. Creating a portrait of Paris through the eyes of English speakers, the collection – edited by Andrew Gallix – explores the allure of bohemian and literary Paris and ponders whether our enduring fascination with the place might actually be a myth of our own making, or “a largely anglophone construct”, as the blurb suggests.
“The French capital has always radiated an unmatched cultural, political and intellectual brilliance in the anglophone imagination, maintaining its status as the modern cosmopolitan city par excellence through the twentieth century to today,” continues the publisher, Repeater Press, whose very own first launch of the tome (which it is indeed – this thing could probably prop open a door in a Force 5) took place in English booksellers Shakespeare and Company, located on the Left Bank practically in the shadow of Notre Dame cathedral.
[The] first launch of the tome took place in English booksellers Shakespeare and Company, located on the Left Bank practically in the shadow of Notre Dame cathedral
Described by the Times Literary Supplement as “Funny, allusive, clever… an entire volume devoted to the idea that the city can never live up to the Paris of the imagination”, We’ll Never Have Paris (the name itself lifted from an American farce movie) collates contributions from 79 authors, including Sophie Mackintosh, Max Porter, Will Self, Joanna Walsh and Eley Williams.
This northern launch event doesn’t shirk on participants, either, and readers on the night will include purveyor of fine creative nonfiction Lauren Elkin, editors of Dostoyevsky Wannabe anthologies Cities Manchester and Love Bites Thom Cuell and CD Rose, Nightjar publisher (among other hats) Nicholas Royle, plus authors and academics Nicholas Blincoe, Gavin James Bower, Alex Pheby and Christiana Spens. Dress code: black polo neck. Miniature poodle peeping from a double-Cs embossed handbag optional.