for Paris

Vernon Subutex

Virginie Despentes
Who is Vernon Subutex? An urban legend, the last witness to a world of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, who represents an entire generation. These days it doesn't really work out for him. A grandiose moral portrait of our time.

Although there are quite a few novels about draughty record store owners, musicians and DJs, the whole thing set in Paris, of course, has its own special charm. Anyone who knows the business, has certainly experienced one or many champagne-pregnant, fogged situation like Vernon Subutex.

Jonas Imbery

Jonas Imbery

Cultural Impresario

Against Nature

Joris-Karl Huysmans
The spectacular antidote against naturalism. His hero is the most decadent dandy of the late 19th century.

A slender novel of the late nineteenth-century based in Paris. The protagonist, a precious aesthete and anglophile, prepares himself for a journey to London. He fails to accomplish the journey but reaches the conclusion that anticipation, when pursued with passion and precision, is an equal, if not greater reward. Reading the book insinuates a question that never leaves the mind - is his conclusion sublime or absurd, and if sublime what impact should the idea have upon our lives?

The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By

Georges Simenon
After the bankruptcy of his company, Kees Popinga discovers that he is not made for the social life of Groningen. From then on, he lives his life, despises all social conventions, and, keeping his family in ignorance, sets off for Paris.

The downfall of a decent man, one of my favorite topics. Most of this happens in the red-light district of Paris in the 1930s.

Giovanni's Room

James Baldwin
David meets the bartender Giovanni in Paris. As his fiance travels through Spain, he suddenly finds himself in Giovanni's apartment, confronted with his repressed homosexuality.

1950’s Paris a young man explores his sexuality while torn between desire and conventional morality. The book navigates the social isolation, self-loathing and confusion that many on the fringes of society can feel. But really all you need to know is that it was crafted by the magnificently brilliant Baldwin; each page is a miracle of writing.

Melissa Unger

Melissa Unger

Creative Director

The Godmother

Hannelore Cayre
Politically incorrect, self-deprecating, and a little disgusted: A translator uses her job in court to get into the drug trade.

Paris and the Godmother and the Godmother in Paris.... who is not that old at all, insanely clever and funny. Patience Portefeux (the name alone!) translates wiretapped telephone conversations from Arabic into French for the Paris drug department until she gets into business herself. Her life story is no less absurd and amusing. With Patience through Paris: Essential reading recommendation.

Anna Kuen

Anna Kuen

Artist & Model

The Map and the Territory

Michel Houellebecq
A nihilistic observation of the vacuous capitalist cultural scene in Paris. Most likely Michel Houellebecq's most intellectual ambitious book.


Leila Slimani
With growing dependance, the relationship to the perfect nanny turns into quite a nightmare and a Paris apartment is getting more and more claustrophobic.


Michel Houellebecq
The controversial novel provokes thought and captivates the reader with cold intelligence. The protagonist converts to Islam in order to boost his career when France's new Islamic party sweeps power in 2022.

Crève, Ducon!

François Cavanna|French edition
Anecdotes about the island which is Le Quartier Latin in Paris.

This volume, conceived as a sequel to Lune de miel [Gallimard, 2011], is the last book Cavanna worked on before he died. No doubt he would have made some additions or changes in detail, but it can be considered a finished work. Composed, as was Lune de miel, of fairly short chapters, the book brings together memories and anecdotes that evoke both the end of the author's life and his past (Charlie Hebdo, the S.T.O...). One finds there with happiness the cheerful gibberish of Cavanna, his big mouth, his blows of anger, his outbursts of affection, his passion for language and literature : a writer, a real one. The title takes up the last words of the text, full of rage and love of life at the moment of letting go.

Alexandre Devaux

Alexandre Devaux

Art Historian

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