Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down
GQ’s Best Books of the Year (“great goddamn prose”)... Amazon.com’s Editors’ Choice (Best Books of the Month)… O, The Oprah Magazine’s Best Books of the Month... Publishers Weekly Top 10 Travel Books Spring 2012… NPR Summer 2012 Recommendations… Flavorwire’s Top 10 Paperbacks of 2013…
A self-described Francophile since the age of nine, Rosecrans Baldwin had always dreamed of living in France. So when an offer presented itself to work at a Parisian ad agency, he couldn't turn it down―even though he had no experience in advertising, and even though he hardly spoke French.
But the Paris that Rosecrans and his wife, Rachel Knowles, arrived in wasn't the romantic city he remembered, and over the next eighteen months, his dogged American optimism was put to the test: at work (where he wrote booklets on breastfeeding), at home (in the hub of a massive construction project), and at every confusing dinner party in between. A hilarious and refreshingly honest look at one of our most beloved cities, Paris, I Love You is the story of a young man whose preconceptions are usurped by the oddities of a vigorous, nervy metropolis―which is just what he needs to fall in love with Paris a second time.
Kirkus (starred review): “A charming, hilarious account of la vie Parisienne by an observant young American. Great fun and surprisingly touching.”
Shelf Awareness (starred review): “Puts a lot of French fantasies to rest—and replaces them with realities worthy of true love.”
The New York Times T Magazine: “The novelist Rosecrans Baldwin was once all poetic about Paree. It was ‘an umbrella, a dream I carried around in case the weather turned bad.’ But when he finally moves there, cultural pratfalls and office politics turn the city into ‘a melancholy bubble.’"
GQ: “It’s this balance of the city’s dirty deceptions… with the timeless elegance of every boulevard and back-alley bistro that makes the book feel so necessary and welcome.”
The New York Times Book Review: “[A snapshot] taken with a high-quality, sharply focused lens."
Wall Street Journal: “For lovers of well-turned phrases… If only, for the sake of his account, [Mr. Baldwin and his wife] had stuck it out a little longer.”
The Atlantic Monthly: “Deftly written, with a wry style and liberally deployed irony… Very funny.”
The New Republic: “Frequently has a delightfully off-kilter way of capturing the city’s charms.”
Slate: “What makes Baldwin’s book particularly enjoyable is that it engages with the clash of our American idea of Paris and Paris the modern reality.”
Daily Candy: “A guy and his wife move to Paris—yes, it’s been done. But never as funny as Rosecrans Baldwin does it in his new memoir.”
Flavorwire: “You’ve never seen Paris quite like this."
Interview Magazine: “Paints a vibrant new Paris, struggling valiantly to reinvent itself."
Marie-Claire: “A très drole memoir.”
SFWeekly: “[This book] is about romance, which means it’s also about madness, frustration, comedy, tragedy, and moments of absolute stillness—spaces between scenes that natives know all too well.”
Grantland: “Baldwin is the perfect travel companion.”
Newsday: “A comical record of elation, anxiety and disillusionment.”
The National: “A near-perfect expat memoir.”
Huffington Post: “Americans in Paris are a common literary trope, but Rosecrans Baldwin has rejuvenated it….A wryly astute fish-out-of-water memoir.”
The Roanoke Times: “Baldwin is a vibrant and keenly observant writer, and this charming diary is both tender and funny.”
ArtVoice: “Filled with pocket-sized prose hors d’oeuvre, fine little bits of fioritura that are a real delight to read.”
Maine Sunday Telegram: “As he prepares to leave France, Baldwin tries to name the syndrome whereby one is actually in Paris and missing it at the same time. Readers may finish this book with a similar fondness.”
Photo credit: Amélien Bayle