book cover of The Paris Bookseller
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The Paris Bookseller

(2022)
A novel by

 
 
INSPIRED BY AN EXTRAORDINARY TRUE STORY...

'A novel I long to live in'
Kate Quinn, author of The Alice Network

PARIS, 1920.
On the bohemian Left Bank, Sylvia runs a little bookshop called Shakespeare and Company. Here she welcomes the greatest writers of the day - and from the moment James Joyce finally walks through her door, the two become friends.

When Joyce's controversial novel
Ulysses is banned, Sylvia is determined to publish it herself.

But championing the most scandalous book of the century will come at a cost - and Sylvia finds herself risking ruin, her reputation and her heart, all in the name of the life-changing power of books.

Set in post-war Paris, The Paris Bookseller is a sweeping story of love, courage and betrayal - and a breathtakingly beautiful love letter to books.

***


'A worthy homage to Sylvia Beach and a love letter to all bookstores, libraries and the passionate and committed women who run them'
New York Journal of Books

'I was completely enthralled'
Natasha Lester, author of The Paris Secret

'An intriguing story, beguilingly told'
Mail on Sunday

'Absorbing and beautifully written... transports you to 1920s Paris - and keeps you utterly captivated with its vivid cast of characters and their bohemian lifestyles'
Heat

'A compelling coming-of-age tale, in addition to an impressive piece of historical fiction'
Culturefly

'A book for the bookshop lovers . . . an absorbing novel about the life changing nature of our favourite reads'
Belfast Telegraph

'A compelling and fascinating look at the world-changing mavericks who bonded, bickered and triumphed in the realm of literature'
Nuala O'Connor

'A compelling portrait of a remarkable woman, who steps from the pages in all her charm, courage and vulnerability'
Gill Paul

'Intelligent, fierce and filled with reverence for a fascinating epoch in literary history... a delight for readers and writers'
Whitney Scharer, author of The Age of Light



Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"The Paris Bookseller lulls you into an interwar Parisian dream where love - be it romantic, friendly, or even for a book - can be found on a quirky little street in the 6th. Kerri Maher's pen skillfully imagines the life of American expat Sylvia Beach and her bookstore Shakespeare and Company in the 1920s and 1930s. This book is a charming escape into the real life literary paradise that was once known as Odeonia." - Kaia Alderson

"Kerri Maher's The Paris Bookseller tells the captivating story of Sylvia Beach, her famed bookstore Shakespeare and Company, and the tremendous role both played in the artistic landscape of interwar Paris. Here literary giants are brought to vivid life in the aisles of a charming Parisian bookshop, and we see not only their humanity, but also their courage in forging new paths in a changing world. Inspiring, fascinating, and delightful, this story will resonate with readers long after the final page." - Kristin Beck

"A captivating look behind the scenes at the life of the iconic Grace Kelly...as she searches for authenticity in a world clamoring instead for a picture-perfect princess." - Marie Benedict

"A scrupulously-researched, enchanting novel, The Paris Bookseller is a feast of literary pre-war Paris. I was transported by Maher's portrait of the iconic Sylvia Beach and her magical bookshop." - Michaela Carter

"The unexpected bonus in this mesmerizing novel is the saga of Sylvia Beach's friendship with James Joyce and her decision to publish Ulysses when publishers showed no interest, a difficult decision made even more difficult by Joyce himself. The Paris Bookseller drops you in the middle of Paris and delicious, intimate encounters with literary greats and soon-to-be-greats who frequented Shakespeare and Company in the years between the World Wars." - Janie Chang

"If you ever dreamed you could transport yourself to Paris in the twenties, to Sylvia Beach's famous bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, where Joyce, Hemingway, and Pound wandered the aisles, this story's for you. Maher's magical touch brings to life a woman whose struggles resonate in today's world, while also examining the intricacies of friendship, fortitude, and the love of the written word." - Fiona Davis

"The Paris Bookseller is a beautifully written homage to those who keep literature alive and to the quirky inhabitants of the literary community whose work sometimes transcends their personal failings. With an open heart and vivid prose, Maher brings to life a lost age and I can't wait to see what this talented author will tackle next." - Stephanie Dray

"The Paris Bookseller is at once a moving love letter to 1920s Paris, an insight into The Lost Generation, and an ode to a woman's fight for freedom. It brings to life the all-consuming relationship between a bookseller and a work of art in such a compelling way that I couldn't stop turning the pages, and I closed the book yearning for a place like Shakespeare and Company. A sparkling read." - Evie Dunmore

"In her latest, Maher throws open a window to 1920s Paris and the Lost Generation, dropping readers into the fascinating true story of one woman's fight to save a masterpiece. Maher weaves a tale that is atmospheric, heartfelt, and brimming with life, leaving no doubt a novel is a living, breathing thing." - Michelle Gable

"Midnight in Paris meets A Moveable Feast in this intimate, in-depth look at the brave and visionary woman who founded one of the world's most iconic bookstores, Shakespeare & Company, on Paris's Left Bank. Studded with appearances from the likes of James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway, The Paris Bookseller brings alive not only interwar Paris, but also the complicated friendship that led to the publication of Joyce's epic Ulysses and helped pave the way for Paris's enduring English-language literary legacy. If you've ever fallen in love with a bookstore, you'll love this ode to booksellers and to the power and magic of the written word." - Kristin Harmel

"The Paris Bookseller is a wonderful tribute to the visionary woman who fought for freedom of speech and changed the landscape of literature forever. By bringing a memorable cast of quirky and charming artistic giants to life, Kerri Maher deftly creates an intimate look at the story behind Shakespeare and Company, one of the most beloved landmarks for readers everywhere. I was captivated by this fascinating story!" - Elise Hooper

"A story about Paris and bookshops was bound to find a place in my heart but this one has the piece de resistance: the character of Sylvia Beach. I was completely enthralled by Beach's life and her tenacity in founding the first English-language bookshop in Paris, while also publishing James Joyce's epic but controversial Ulysses. With an abundance of delightful cameos from all of your favourite literary heroes as well as a fascinating rendering of Paris's glory days during the 1920s and 30s, this novel will transport you as only the best historical fiction can." - Natasha Lester

"Kerri Maher leads us through Bohemian Paris in the 1920s with all the joie de vivre we could hope for. Through love and books, a fresh Sylvia Beach creates a new life after meeting impressive Parisian bookseller Adrienne Monnier, and by the arrival of Irish writer James Joyce in their circle. A compelling and fascinating look at the world-changing mavericks who bonded, bickered and triumphed in the realm of literature." - Nuala O'Connor

"The stunning and very human story of a beloved icon....Full of nuance and poignancy - this novel is gorgeous." - Allison Pataki

"The Paris Bookseller is a compelling portrait of a remarkable woman, who steps from the pages in all her charm, courage and vulnerability. It's also a colourful snapshot of literary Paris in the 1920s, with its glamour and gossip, ogres and egos. Meticulously researched yet above all a page-turning story, this is historical fiction at its best." - Gill Paul

"The Paris Bookseller is a novel I long to live in, a vivid evocation of the famous female-owned Parisian bookshop Shakespeare and Company which acted as haven and home to the literati of pre-WWII Europe. Heroine and shop owner Sylvia Beach shepherds seemingly all of the great writers of the 20th century with an appealing blend of warmth, wit, frustration, and understanding. Kerri Maher writes a love letter to books, bookstores, and booklovers everywhere." - Kate Quinn

"With a cast of characters that span the Lost Generations' literary pantheon, The Paris Bookseller offers up both a sweeping story of artistic creativity in the face of censorship as well as an intimate portrait of one woman's struggle to remain true to herself. Maher's lush writing and rich historical detail will have you thinking about Sylvia and her bookshop long after you've turned the final page." - Alix Rickloff

"Kerri Maher vividly transports us back in time to the establishment of the world's most famous and beloved bookstore, Shakespeare and Company. Its founder, Sylvia Beach is brilliantly portrayed as is her fight to publish one of the greatest novels ever written. Filled with such literary luminaries as James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Paris Bookseller is a bibliophile's dream come true." - Renée Rosen

"Dazzling like Paris, rich and immersive like the work it celebrates, and bursting with heart and passion like every great bookstore, The Paris Bookseller is a dream for book lovers from start to finish." - Steven Rowley

"If you've ever gotten lost in the narrow, deliciously overcrowded aisles of Shakespeare and Company, or you just want to imagine you have, this is the novel for you. Kerri Maher brings to life the fascinating history of Shakespeare and Company and its founder, Sylvia Beach, whose vision and drive led her to create not only a world-famous bookstore, but to defy the censors and publish the first edition of Joyce's Ulysses. Intelligent, fierce, and filled with reverence for a fascinating epoch in literary history, The Paris Bookseller is a delight for readers and writers." - Whitney Scharer

"A love letter to the extraordinary people who made interwar Paris the place to be for book lovers. With distinctive prose and honesty, Kerri brings to life the glory days of Paris's most unforgettable bookstore, illuminating a world where leading literary lights await us on every page - and spotlighting the woman who united them all, Miss Sylvia Beach." - Bryn Turnbull

"Absorbing, intricate, and beautifully told, The Paris Bookseller is the unforgettable true story of Sylvia Beach, a champion of modern literature who made enormous sacrifices in the struggle to publish James Joyce's classic novel, Ulysses, while also establishing Shakespeare and Company, a bookstore that became the Parisian home for literary luminaries of her day. With all the color and verve of post WWI Paris and the deep love of literature that pervades every page, The Paris Bookseller is a novel for book lovers to treasure." - Christine Wells

"[A] fascinating, deeply researched novel of the extraordinary Grace Kelly...establishes Maher as a true force in biographical fiction." - Beatriz Williams


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