Famous writers in Paris : The City of Lights has been celebrated by the greatest writers for its beauty, its history, its romanticism, but also for the artistic and free lifestyle often associated with those who live there. Have a look on great writers who live in Paris.
Famous French writers in Paris
Among lots of French writers of the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, we have two monuments : Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and Le Rouge et le Noir by Stendhal. In addition, we can recommend you :
- Le Père Goriot from Honoré de Balzac
- Au Bonheur des Dames from Emile Zola
- Les Trois Mousquetaires from Alexandre Dumas
- Madame Bovary from Gustave Flaubert
- Du côté de chez Swann from Marcel Proust
- Journal (III) 1939-1944 from Anaïs Nin
- Gigi from Colette
- Indiana from George Sand
Don’t forget to read Céline’s Voyage au bout de la nuit, Romain Gary’s La Promesse de l’aube and Albert Camus’ l’étranger, Belle du seigneur by Albert Cohen, Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier, L’Écume des jours by Boris Vian, Le Horla de Maupassant, Illusions perdues by Balzac, L’Assommoir by Émile Zola, Bonjour tristesse by Françoise Sagan, L’amant by Marguerite Duras, La Princesse de Clèves by Madame La Fayette …
Beautiful writers’ houses in Paris
- Balzac home to many of the city’s wealthiest residents
The last Parisian home of Honoré de Balzac is in the heart of the Passy ancient village,nearby the Eiffel Tower. He lived there for seven years under the pseudonym “M. de Breugnol” to escape creditors. Imagine Balzac in his office, seated at his favorite little table, just large enough to put down his inkwell and a few sheets, where he composed part of the novels in the series La Comédie humaine.
- Boris Vian apartment behind the Moulin-Rouge
The author of L’Écume des Jours ended his life in a Parisian apartment in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. It was here that he wrote L’Arrache-cœur, just behind the Moulin-Rouge, in the former artists’ lodges. Jacques Prévert moved to the same address. The two friends shared a common terrace where they organized parties bringing together many celebrities, including Miles Davis, Henri Salvador or Eugène Ionesco.
- Marcel Aymé apartment in Montmartre
Born in Joigny in the Yonne in 1902, he spent his childhood in the Jura before moving to Paris, and settled in Montmartre in 1930, a district he would never leave until his death in 1967. He lived at 9 ter rue Paul Féval with his wife Marie-Antoinette and wrote most of his work there until 1963, when he moved to 26 rue Norvins. Today n ° 2 of the place bears his name, with the Passe-Muraille statue sculpted by Jean Marais in 1989.
- Victor Hugo mansion in the Marais
Place des Vosges, the Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée houses the former apartment of one of the greatest writers of the 19th century, Victor Hugo, now transformed into a museum. From 1832 to 1848, he lived in the second floor with his wife Adèle Foucher and their four children. In this mansion, in this room, in this office, he wrote most of the time while standing – Hugo imagines and writes some of his major works.
Victor Hugo desk in Paris
Contemporary French authors
Literature is a jewel of the French culture. From Balzac to Maupassant via Molière or Camus, it shines all over the world. However, it would be a shame to limit ourself to “classics” only, and not to explore what builds contemporary literature in France. From Modiano to Ernaux via Marc Levy, a quick overview of the French contemporary authors :
- Annie Ernaux
- Patrick Modiano
- Denis Podalydès
- Jean Echenoz
- Marie Ndiaye
- Delphine de Vigan
- Virginie Despentes
- Alain Mabanckou
- Marc Levy
- Guillaume Musso
- Fred Vargas
- Michel Houellebecq
- Frederic Beigbeder
- Christine Angot
- Anne Golon
- Anna Gavalda
One of my favorite French writer is Amin Maalouf with his book Samarcande. He is a Lebanese-born French author who has lived in France since 1976. He received the Prix Goncourt in 1993 for Le Rocher de Tanios, and was elected to the Académie française in 2011.
The Famous Poets Writers in Paris
The French capital is an incredible source of inspiration for artists. It is therefore not a surprise that many poets have dedicated one or more poems to the City of Lights. The story of the capital is told through poetry.
- Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) – Ébauche d’un épilogue pour la deuxième édition des Fleurs du Mal » (1861)
- Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) – Le Pont Mirabeau (1912)
- Louis Aragon (1897-1982) – Paris (1944)
- Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) – Paris (1893)
- Alfred de Musset (1810-1857) – Sonnet, Les Contes d’Espagne et d’Italie (1829)
- Jacques Prévert (1900-1977) – Chanson de la Seine (1951)
- Paul Eluard (1895-1952) – Courage (1942)
- Victor Hugo (1802-1885) – Paris bloqué, recueil L’Année terrible (1872)
Poets have embraced Paris with their verses, each with their own style, classic poems, engaged, avant-garde, but always with sincere words. If it is not its fiery history that animates poets living in Paris, it is its winding and romantic streets.
« Ô ville, tu feras agenouiller l’histoire.
Saigner est ta beauté, mourir est ta victoire.
Mais non, tu ne meurs pas. […]
Dans l’admiration des peuples, dans la gloire,
Tu retrouves, Paris, bien plus que tu ne perds […] »
Paris bloqué, recueil L’Année terrible – Victor Hugo (1872)
Famous American, English and Irish writers in Paris
Beyond the anecdotes, the drinking binges, the fights, the sentimental crossovers of the intellectuals of the Montparnasse district at that time, we bring to life famous writers in Paris such as Hemingway’s novel Paris est une fête and his friends TS Eliot, James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and so much more … during our private tours. If America is hit by prohibition, Paris offers its cafes and bistros. Le Dôme, La Coupole, Le Sélect offer as well a great triangle for all those genius to write and have fun.
- Paris est une fête from Ernest Hemingway
- Tropique du Cancer from Henry Miller
- L’Eventail de Lady Windermere from Oscar Wilde
- Dans la dèche à Paris et à Londres from George Orwell
- Souvenirs Indiscrets from Natalie Clifford Barney
- The Cubical City from Janet Flanner
- Black Boy from Richard Wright
Paris is also considered the cradle of European literature, because it has seen great minds grow in its territory. Added to the beauty of the French language, the advanced ideas about society presented by many writers, have made French literature one of the oldest in Europe, but also one of the most important.
A Drink with Hemingway at the café de Flore in Saint Germain
Anglo-Saxon bookstores in Paris
- Brentano’s 37 Avenue de l’Opéra, 75002 Parism° Opéra
- Shakespeare and Company, 37 rue de la Bûcherie, Paris 5e, RER Saint Michel
- Abbaye Bookshop, 29 Rue Parcheminerie, Paris 5e, RER Luxembourg
- The San Francisco Book Company, 17, rue M. le Prince, Paris 6e, m° Odéon
- Galignani, 224 rue de Rivoli, Paris 1er, m° Palais Royal
- The red wheel barrow, 22 Rue St Paul, Paris 4e, m° Saint-Paul ou Bastille
Have a Private Tour Guide about famous writers in Paris
We invite you to discover some famous writers who, for a few years or for the remainder of their days, lived in Paris.
Discover the places of famous writers in Paris used to live, to work, to walk around and have dinners through a private tour guide. PARIS BY EMY offers you tailor made itinerary with hotels recommendations according to your criteria, airport hotel transfer, private tour guide, restaurants recommendations and more such as our Paris Big Classics Package.
50 French-language books of the XX century
Here are the top 50 best French-language books of the XX century by a jury of 50 people – journalists, booksellers, librarians, teachers, heads of literary institutions and festivals in French-speaking from Switzerland (https://www.letemps.ch/culture/50-meilleurs-livres-langue-francaise-1900-aujourdhui). This classification takes in consideration only literature written in French, whether it is from France, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Africa or Asia, or elsewhere, since the choice of a Writing language is also used during travel and exile, as for Samuel Beckett or Agota Kristof, two authors very well placed in this ranking.
1. A la recherche du temps perdu (1913-1927), Marcel Proust (30 votes)
2. Voyage au bout de la nuit (1932), Louis-Ferdinand Céline (28)
3. L’Etranger (1942), Albert Camus (23)
4. Alcools (1913), Guillaume Apollinaire (18)
5. Belle du Seigneur (1968), Albert Cohen (17) PARIS BY EMY RECOMMENDATION
6. Mémoires d’Hadrien (1951), Marguerite Yourcenar (17)
7. La Trilogie des jumeaux (Le Grand Cahier, La Preuve, Le Troisième Mensonge, 1986-1991), Agota Kristof (16)
8. L’Usage du monde (1963), Nicolas Bouvier (13)
9. En attendant Godot (1952), Samuel Beckett (11)
10. Paroles (1945), Jacques Prévert (11)
11. L’Ecume des jours (1947), Boris Vian (11)
12. La Prose du Transsibérien (1913), Blaise Cendrars (10)
13. La Promesse de l’aube (1960), Romain Gary (10)
14. Vies minuscules (1984), Pierre Michon (10)
15. Capitale de la douleur (1926), Paul Eluard (9)
16. La Condition humaine (1933), André Malraux (9)
17. La Vie mode d’emploi (1978), Georges Perec (9)
18. L’Amant (1984), Marguerite Duras (8)
19. Le Parti pris des choses (1942), Francis Ponge (8)
20. La Route des Flandres (1960), Claude Simon (8)
21. Fureur et Mystère (1948), René Char (7)
22. La Place (1983), Annie Ernaux (7)
23. Les Années (2008), Annie Ernaux (7)
24. Paysages avec figures absentes (1970), Philippe Jaccottet (7)
25. Aline (1905), Charles Ferdinand Ramuz (7)
26. La Beauté sur la terre (1927), Charles Ferdinand Ramuz (7)
27. Bonjour tristesse (1954), Françoise Sagan (7) PARIS BY EMY RECOMMENDATION
28. Nouvelles orientales (1938), Marguerite Yourcenar (7)
29. Molloy (1951), Malone meurt (1951), L’Innommable (1953), trilogie, Samuel Beckett (6)
30. Nadja (1928), André Breton (6)
31. Moravagine (1926), Blaise Cendrars (6)
32. Cahier pour un retour au pays natal (1939), Aimé Césaire (6)
33. La Vie devant soi (1975), Romain Gary (6)
34. Le Rivage des Syrtes (1951), Julien Gracq (6)
35. Le Petit Prince (1943), Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (6) PARIS BY EMY RECOMMENDATION
36. Enfance (1983), Nathalie Sarraute (6)
37. Le Grand Meaulnes (1913), Alain-Fournier (5)
38. Antigone (1944), Jean Anouilh (5)
39. Le Blé en herbe (1923), Colette (5)
40. Moderato cantabile (1958), Marguerite Duras (5)
41. Un Barrage contre le Pacifique (1950), Marguerite Duras (5)
42. Les Faux-monnayeurs (1925), André Gide (5)
43. Réparer les vivants (2013), Maylis de Kerangal (5)
44. Derborence (1934), Charles Ferdinand Ramuz (5)
45. La Nausée (1938), Jean-Paul Sartre (5)
46. Les Yeux d’Elsa (1942), Aragon (4)
47. La Demoiselle sauvage (1974), Corinna Bille (4)
48. Le Poisson-scorpion (1981), Nicolas Bouvier (4)
49. Mes Amis (1924), Emmanuel Bove (4)
50. Texaco (1992), Patrick Chamoiseau (4)
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