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Left Bank

Nonfiction: Biography, History
Unabridged   12 hour(s)
Publication date: 08/27/2019

Left Bank

Art, Passion, and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-50

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684574711
Digital Download ISBN:9781684574704


An incandescent group portrait of the mid-century artists and thinkers whose lives, loves, collaborations, and passions were forged against the wartime destruction and postwar rebirth of Paris.

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Product Description

In this fascinating tour of a celebrated city during one of its most trying, significant, and ultimately triumphant eras, Agnès Poirier unspools the stories of the poets, writers, painters, and philosophers whose lives collided to extraordinary effect between 1940 and 1950. She gives us the human drama behind some of the most celebrated works of the twentieth century, along with the origin stories of now legendary movements, from Existentialism to the Theatre of the Absurd, New Journalism, bebop, and French feminism.

We follow Arthur Koestler and Norman Mailer as young men, peek inside Picasso's studio, and trail the twists of Camus's, Sartre's, and Beauvoir's epic love stories. We witness the births and deaths of newspapers and literary journals and peer through keyholes to see the first kisses and last nights of many ill-advised bedfellows. At every turn, Poirier deftly hones in on the most compelling and colorful history. She brings to life the flawed, visionary Parisians who fell in love and out of it, who infuriated and inspired one another, all while reconfiguring the world's political, intellectual, and creative landscapes. With its balance of clear-eyed historical narrative and irresistible anecdotal charm, Left Bank transports listeners to a Paris teeming with passion, drama, and life.


"Poirier's hugely enjoyable, quick-witted, and richly anecdotal book is magnifique." -The Times(London)

"Weighty thought and earthy behaviour are the twin engines behind Agnès Poirier's briskly entertaining ride through France's most mouvementé decade." —The Sunday Times (London)

"Left Bank reads as an erudite and deeply satisfying gossip column, in which each story is more incredible than the last." —The New Republic

Author Bio

Born in Paris, Agnès Poirier has lived and worked in London for the last twenty years, and writes in both English and French. Her work has appeared in Le Nouvel Observateur, Le Monde, the Guardian, the Times, and the Independent on Sunday.