Giuliana's Reviews > Paris In Mind

Paris In Mind by Jennifer  Lee
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Interesting compilation of essays about American perceptions of Paris. What's good about this book is that I got to read Langston Hughes, James Baldwin and Bricktop, none of whom I'd read before. Editor Jennifer Lee includes an excellent bio on each author that gives a good contextual reference for each piece. There is a wonderful essay by Maxine Rose Schur about being newlywed and "Penniless in Paris" that captures a lot of the magic of the City of Lights, and sets up an expectation that many more essays will be about having a wonderful tourist experience there. But this is where the collection veers off; the rest of the essays are not so much about the magic of Paris but rather real life experiences. I like the idea that so many of the pieces are historical, but some of them were also surprisingly the least compelling selections. Letters by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, and the section from Thomas Jefferson's autobiography didn't seem like the best selections. Overall, I'm glad I read this, and learned about so many gifted American writers, but would have liked some of the selections to be more reflective of the authors' creative writing talent and ability.

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