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Our Paris: Sketches from Memory

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  122 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
What happens when one of our most celebrated writers combines talents with a French artist and architect to capture life in their Parisian neighborhood? The result is a lighthearted, gently satiric portrait of the heart of Paris -- including the Marais, Les Halles, the two islands in the Seine, and the Châtelet -- and the people who call it home. It is an enchantingly vari ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published April 30th 2002 by Ecco (first published November 25th 1994)
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Jan 16, 2016 Will rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, memoir
A favorite anecdote, putting me in mind of Bloch's dismissal of umbrellas and wristwatches ("insidious bourgeois implements"): Edmund White writes, "When Albert told [Pierre] Guyotat he'd have only twenty minutes to read, the writer replied loftily, 'But time is inscribed within the interior of the work and has no independent exterior existence.' Albert swallowed hard."
Apr 05, 2013 Alyson rated it it was amazing
Wonderful! A wonderful vision of Paris, one that makes me desperately want to go back and look up all the places and people described in the book. As others have stated, the backdrop is one of sadness, but lighthearted descriptions of all the characters and landmarks that flitted in and out of their daily lives make this an easy, fast, and delightful read. The illustrations are equally fun and lighthearted, and I enjoyed playing "Where's Fred?" each time I reached a new picture.
Charles Smith
Nov 15, 2012 Charles Smith rated it really liked it
One day I hope to visit Paris; it is a city that has always fascinated me.Part of my fascination has been sparked by accounts by and/or about famous American writers who once lived there: Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, et al. Now it's Edmund White's turn to bedazzle me with the sights, sounds, and smells of that fabled city.

"Our Paris: Sketches from Memory" is a collaborative project he worked on with his now deceased (from AIDS) lover, Hubert Sorin, the French
Leora Bersohn
Jun 11, 2014 Leora Bersohn rated it really liked it
White wrote this as a final project to share with his partner, Hubert Sorin, as Sorin was dying. You would almost not know to read it--this is very light and charming, despite the occasional reference to Sorin getting thinner and weaker. Sorin's drawings and White's sketches make Paris come instantly to life. A labor of love in every sense of the phrase, this is a perfect way to clear your head on the train or before bed.
Mark Hiser
Mar 21, 2016 Mark Hiser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt, biographical, travel
Suffering with the impending loss of his lover, White wrote this book as a project with his dying lover. In it, the two men affectionately, light-heartedly, and lovingly portray their chosen city of residence--Paris--in a series of anecdotes and memories.
Mar 13, 2016 Len rated it it was amazing
Shelves: france
Another romp through Paris, another in-depth look at the people and the experiences to be had 'off the map' would have been enough for me, were it not so much more.
Buried in between White's somewhat typical, and interesting-but-kind of-annoying name-dropping, exists the softest and gentlest of love stories between two men from different cultures and backgrounds.
Ending with goodbye in Marrakesh, and me on my couch in tears, I was deeply moved by this beautiful little story that was at once also s
Aug 14, 2014 Djdee rated it really liked it
Witty drawings and superb descriptions of everyday life in Paris.
Feb 07, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
I first read this short book 15 years ago, after I'd met and disliked one of the many name-dropped individuals in it's slim chapters. Despite my (and apparently White's) poor impression of this particular American biographer, I loved the book then and find that I still do now. It's an homage to a quotidian life in a busy neighborhood of modern Paris, stylized by Sorin's pen and ink drawings, and perhaps more so by his impending death which lurks beneath the descriptions of a moment in life held ...more
Dec 30, 2007 Rebecca rated it it was ok
A fun little read with melancholy undertones about Edmund White's last year in Paris with his boyfriend Hubert Sorin, who died of AIDS. It's light--there's no dealing with illness, death, or loss. But it's charming, frequently about the doings of their friends and their trips about town with their bassett hound, Fred. Lots of name-dropping, but in a good-natured and slightly mortified way. I read it partially for the descriptions of daily life in Paris, and for that, it is quite good.
Maria Maniaci
Feb 01, 2008 Maria Maniaci rated it really liked it
This book was not what I expected based on knowing beforehand that it was, among other things, an AIDS memoir. But it's a sweet book. Quick and sharp. I liked getting a glimpse into a life so different from mine in time and place and timbre.

Didn't get five stars from me because White's name dropped is a little much at times.
May 18, 2011 pjr8888 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vivencio Gregorio Atutubo III
Shelves: lgbtq, psychology
wonderfully illustrated with numerous witty and gently satiric drawings by Hurbert Sorin, a trained archetct
Jul 21, 2015 Naomi rated it liked it
Brings world's juiciest jet zet's gossip straight from their own mouth...
Mar 04, 2009 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
terribly sad ending.
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Edmund White's novels include Fanny: A Fiction, A Boy's Own Story, The Farewell Symphony, and A Married Man. He is also the author of a biography of Jean Genet, a study of Marcel Proust, The Flâneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris, and, most recently, his memoir, My Lives. Having lived in Paris for many years, he is now a New Yorker and teaches at Princeton University. He was also a membe ...more
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