Shakespeare and Company bookstore, ParisDuring the Christmas holiday we went to Paris for a couple of days. There is much for a Canadian literary tourist to see in Paris, but I limited myself to snapping a photo of the bookstore Shakespeare and Company and of the street that Mavis Gallant lives on. The rest of the time was for walking Paris. Ok, and a bit of shopping.
The bookstore was crowded with tourists. We were tourists, too, but really. I went upstairs to see George’s library, where two young writers were ensconced doing their daily read, but I didn’t interrupt them. If you want to get the inside story on the bookstore, read Time Was Soft There, by Canadian Jeremy Mercer, who has settled in Marseille. Sadly Mercer’s book does not indicate if any other Canadian writers took refuge at Shakespeare and Company. Still, his memoir of George Whitman’s shop and its coterie of writers is a good read, what with the store under threat from developers and the author’s role in reuniting George with his daughter. Sylvia, who took over the shop after George’s death.
The bookshop I should have gone to is the Abbey Bookshop, owned by Canadian Brian Spence, in the Hotel Dubuisson on rue de la Parcheminerie, where you can find books by Canadians as well as enjoy the historic street of scriveners.

photo: Debra Martens

Luxembourg Gardens

Having no wish to disturb writers at work, I did not enter the building of Mavis Gallant’s apartment. [This was written before Mavis Gallant’s death in February 2014.] Here are a couple of snaps of the neighbourhood.

sixth district

Mavis Gallant’s street

Further Reading

Flower shop in Montparnasse

Posted by Debra Martens

author, editor

One Comment

  1. Hi Debra,

    Going to Paris in September. I know Shakespeare and Company but what street does Mavis Gallant live on?


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