by Gail Scott
In contemporary Paris, a diarist persistently gathers the remains of an epoch, accompanied by the literary ghost of Walter Benjamin, whose famous Paris arcades project serves as a kind of Baedeker. But, little by little, she becomes an amalgam of her detritus including a touch of ressentiment. For alongside the pleasureable Paris in which expatriate avant-garde artists and rebels have "traditionally" flourished, lies a typically complex city, teeming with disaster. Casting light and shadow, looking backwards and forwards, My Paris is a hynotizing tale of desire and nostalgia, magically submerging the reader in the endless and not always seamless sensuality of the City of Light.