Please enjoy the final segment of our three-post conversation with Jamie Cox Robertson, author of A Literary Paris (Adams Media, 2010).
There is one excerpt you used that isn’t even set in Paris? Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. Why did you decide to use that one when there are so many others out there set in the city?
I had to. I knew some people would say, Madame Bovary, ugh, but seriously I did it for two reasons. Flaubert is amazing. That should be reason enough, but the excerpt I chose was for all those people who long to travel to Paris and have yet to go. I understand that feeling. To want to travel but to be held back by finances, or tied down with a job or busy at home with a baby. For all her faults, and she has quite a few, I sympathized with Emma Bovary’s desire to go to Paris. The way she would buy maps of the city and run her finger along boulevards she had heard about and imagined what it would be like to dress up and go to the opera. I felt for her and I think I’m probably not the only one.
I enjoyed reading the sidebars about different places, and tidbits of trivia about Paris, the writers and such…do you have a favorite?
The Rue Mouffetard. It’s so astoundingly interesting. It’s been there since Roman times and maybe it’s because I’m an American but places with so much history, where so much life has come and gone, tend to overwhelm me. Beyond that, the Luxembourg Gardens and Avenue Foch come to mind too. Beautiful areas. You know, though, I’m no Francophile. I think it’s a great city and I love a lot of things about the French and Paris but there are a lot of people who know much more about Paris than me…my focus is on books. When it comes to traveling I want to go to a lot of places. Especially places I haven’t been. I have been lucky to know people born and raised in Paris. It’s always good to have natives steer you to and away from places when you travel.
Do you have any other favorite places in Paris that aren’t mentioned in the book?
There’s still so much I want to see there. I’m hoping the whole family will go next spring. But, for now, I should probably say the Les Puces. It’s not mentioned in the book, but Puces is French for Fleas. It’s a very large, flea market. It’s a lot of fun. I’d like to go again soon. I also would love to have a cup of hot chocolate at the top of the Eiffel Tower. I want to do that with my daughter someday soon. I haven’t been there in a long time.
For those who haven’t seen it yet, A literary Paris is a beautiful book with a classic linen cover and insets of antique postcards that really draw the reader into the scenes. However, for those who aren’t as fond of holding a beautiful book in their hands as I am, it’s availabe in an e-version too. Congratulations again on your first book. I’ll definitely be giving copies as gifts to all my friends who love to travel and read. I can imagine this being a part of a series…any plans for another book? Perhaps a sequel to make a gift set?
There are talks to do A Literary London and if so, yes it would have the same look to it.
Anything else on the horizon?
I have a second book coming out later this year titled An Uncommon Heroine. It’s a close look at some of the greatest women fiction characters and why they have such staying power. You’ll be happy to know that there are some great southern women in that collection. Most certainly our very own Scarlett O’Hara.
Working on An Uncommon Heroine helped me with my own fiction writing, so I’m near completion on a novel about two women, identity theft, and one’s own identity on a deeper level. It’s great fun. Hope to be finished with it soon.
You sound busy. Thanks so much for talking with me, Jamie. It’s always good to catch up and best of luck with A Literary Paris.
Learn more about Jamie or A Literary Paris, by visiting www.aliteraryparis.com .