Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Down and out in Paris

For half a century, a crowded bookshop on the Left Bank has offered food and a bed to penniless authors - the only rule is that they read a book a day.

Way back, in 1913, the original Shakespeare and Company was opened by a young American called Sylvia Beach. Her shop in rue de l'Odéon soon became the place for all the English-speaking writers in Paris. Her lover, Adrienne Monnier, owned the French bookstore across the road, and she and Beach ran back and forth, finding penniless writers a place to stay, lending them books, arranging loans, taking their mail, sending their work to small magazines and, most spectacularly, publishing James Joyce's Ulysses in 1922 when no one else would touch it.

- Jeanette Winterson,

Read the rest of the article here.

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