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Legendary Paris Dinner Parties

Scads of American memoirists have rhapsodized about their wonderful meals in Paris’s restaurants, but Janet Flanner, who for decades wrote a fortnightly “Letter from Paris” column for The New Yorker under the pen name Gênet, preferred to recall the dinner parties. It requires a certain longevity spent in a city before invitations to dinner begin pouring in. […]

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Damn recipe for chicken à la Maryland

  Nicole Diver, the anti-heroine of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final novel, Tender is the Night (1934), first appears in its pages lying on a sandy beach near Cannes, sunbathing and writing out a list from a book propped open before her. Nicole shimmers into sight as a vision of unparalleled glamour – her bathing suit straps […]

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Hitting the Hemingway Trail: Part I, Montparnasse

As I mentioned in my post on Hemingway’s hunger, many of the cafés and restaurants that the great man habituated remain open today. But with Hemingway being a man of such large appetites, and thus a habitué of so many venues, how can the nostalgic tourist decide which Hemingway haunt to drink at first? As […]

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Hemingway’s Hunger

“I’m very hungry,” I said. – Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast (1964) Published posthumously, Hemingway’s brief memoir of expat life in 1920s Paris is so popular that in “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” the stoner duo meet a prostitute named “Tits Hemingway” who explains that she got her name because “I have huge […]

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The Auto-biography of Alice B. Toklas

The charm of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933), Gertrude Stein’s tongue-in-cheek “memoir” of her partner, lies for most readers in its intimate portrayal of Parisian artistic life during the first decades of the twentieth century. The informality of the narrative, a conversational slew of anecdotes featuring the most famous names of twentieth-century arts and letters […]

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