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In search of lost books: an odyssey across Paris

We think of virtual as something that is detached from reality, but how can we take advantage of this virtual world building to enchant the real world. Following the clues from books, in a kind of Proustian Urbex, we find the real locations across Paris of some literary classics (Les Miserables, The Three Musketeers) and the hangouts of literary greats (Hemingway, James Baldwin, the Fitzgeralds, Gertrude Stein).

Taking cues from the current bestseller “The Paris Library” we visit the American Library in Paris (where the book is based) and talk about their founding during World War I (Edith Wharton was one of their first trustees), early contributors to their newsletter (Hemingway and Stein) and about the special requests of patrons like Henry Miller (“anything on Zen Buddhism?”).

Penelope Fletcher, founder of the Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore. gives us a tour of her Left Bank neighborhood where the Lost Generation once frequented; she shows us the original Shakespeare & Company (where Sylvia Beach published James Joyce’s “Ulysses”).