“One has the impression, reading The Flaneur, of having fallen into the hands of a highly distractible, somewhat eccentric poet and professor who is determined to show you a Paris you wouldn’t otherwise see…Edmund White tells such a good story that I’m ready to listen to anything he wants to talk about.”–New York Times Book Review
A flaneur is a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles through city streets in search of adventure and fulfillment. Edmund White, who lived in Paris for sixteen years, wanders through the streets and avenues and along the quays, into parts of Paris virtually unknown to visitors and indeed to many Parisians. In the hands of the learned White, a walk through Paris is both a tour of its lush, sometimes prurient history and an evocation of the city’s spirit. The Flaneur leads us to bookshops and boutiques, monuments and palaces, giving us a glimpse into the inner human drama. Along the way we learn everything from the latest debates among French lawmakers to the juicy details of Colette’s life.