Hemingway wrote, "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."
It's a book lover's dream to wander the very streets that inspired Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Samuel Beckett, Albert Camus, Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and so many others. You might step into the Salon at 27 rue de Fleurus where Gertrude Stein mentored Ernest Hemingway, or have a drink at the café littéraires Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore, the long-ago haunts of James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound and their fellow The Lost Generation writers.
The love affair between Paris and writers has been a long and passionate one, whether authors are writing from Paris or about it. For centuries, the city has been host to an array of love stories, murder mysteries and dramas, from timeless tales like Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame to ground-breaking modern literature like Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer.
The astounding effect of Paris on writers is demonstrated in the countless memoirs they have penned about their days, years and lives spent in the city. The effect is so strong it's even inspired chefs and bakers to put down their whisks and pick up their pens, giving food memoirs a genre all of their own.
What is it about Paris that's so attractive to the creatively-inclined? Perhaps the city's own history is the most interesting story of them all. Take a literary tour with our selection of novels set in Paris, memoirs about life in Paris and Paris history books.
Tatiana de Rosnay
W Somerset Maugham
Edmund de Waal