A captivating portrait of those who lived, loved, fought, played and flourished in Paris between 1940 and 1950 and whose intellectual and artistic output still influences us today.
After the horrors of the Second World War, Paris was the place where the world's most original voices of the time came – among them Norman Mailer, Miles Davis, Simone de Beauvoir, James Baldwin, Juliette Greco, Alberto Giacometti, Saul Bellow and Arthur Koestler. Fuelled by the elation of the Liberation, these pioneers hoped to find an alternative to the Capitalist and Communist models for life, art and politics – a Third Way.
Agnès Poirier transports us to a time when Paris was at the heart of all that was new and brave and controversial, skilfully weaving together a collage of images and destinies.
About the Author
Agnès Poirier is a Paris-born and London-educated journalist, writer, critic and broadcaster. She is the author of four essays about the different ways in which France and Britain do things, topics she tirelessly discusses on the BBC, Sky News and CNN and writes about in, among others, the Guardian, the Observer, The Times, Marianne, Telerama and L 'Espresso. She has also taught at Sciences Po in Paris, and pre-selects British films for the Cannes film festival. She loves cycling and the songs of Charles Trenet. She lives in Paris and London.
"Briskly plotted, gossip-fuelled, character-driven cultural history ... Poirier's hugely enjoyable, quick-witted and richly anecdotal book is magnifique"
"Weighty thought and earthy behaviour are the twin engines behind Agnès Poirier's briskly entertaining ride through France's most mouvemonté decade"
"Left Bank reads as an erudite and deeply satisfying gossip column, in which each story is more incredible than the last"
"Left Bank moves scene to scene, cafe to cafe, tracing the affiliations and intrigues of a group of writers, philosophers, artists and curators ... [Poirier] manages to create the feeling we're peeking into the windows of her subjects, looking at buildings that still stand, at inhabitants long gone"
International New York Times