Left Bank

By Agnes Poirier,

Book cover of Left Bank: Art, Passion, and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-50

Book description

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

In this fascinating tour of a celebrated city during one of its most trying, significant, and ultimately triumphant eras, Agnès Poirier unspools the…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Left Bank as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

While Poirier’s book covers the same period as Sebba’s, the mood is completely different. Her focus is on artists, with a cast that reads as your ultimate dinner-party guest wishlist: Juliette Gréco, Simone de Beauvoir, James Baldwin, Miles Davis... Such creators couldn’t help but salvage something from their war experiences, create a new world on their own terms. Poirier knows that history is made of people. And Paris is a rich source, for it’s a city that has attracted a multitude of movers and shakers for centuries. Poirier shows how such creators can produce much more than art, or a…

From Katrina's list on the history of Paris (and Parisians).

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