Best Paris Stories is honored to present the anthology at the American Library in Paris on May 29th 10, rue du Général Camou 75007 Paris, France.In this interview, published on the blog of the American Library in Paris, the editor Laurel Zuckerman explains how the collection of Paris short stories was conceived, what the stories are about, who the authors are, and how changes in publishing are offering new opportunities to writers of short stories and novellas.
You can read the full interview on the American Library Blog here.
On the idea behind Best Paris Stories
"The challenge of writing about Paris is to keep it fresh. Writers have been writing about this remarkable city and its people for centuries. What’s changed? What’s eternal? What’s the reality below the surface? How to go beyond the beautiful tourist destination many of us know as expats? That was the starting point for Best Paris Stories."
On the diversity of short stories including in the Paris antholoty
There are funny stories and moving stories. “That Summer With My Dad in Paris” by Jeannine Alter explores a daughter’s journey back towards her father after loss, while in “The Baker of Vaugirard”, Jim Archibald follows a life lived quietly over decades in one small Parisian neighborhood. In “May”, Marie Houzelle plunges us into French academia, while “A Pinch of Tarragon” by Lisa Burkitt takes us back to a time where food meant life. Immigrant Paris offers the setting for Mary Byrne’s “Frank Stands His Ground In Belleville” and “Brazzaville-Belleville Express” by Jo Nguyen....The stories, like the inhabitants of Paris, are extremely diverse and appeal to different sensibilities.
On how stories were selected
"Judging was something we gave a lot of thought to. It’s really interesting to observe how different readers respond to the same story. Some might love a piece, while others hate it or simply shrug with indifference. If you forget for a moment what you are supposed to like and ask yourself instead what you really enjoy, the result can be surprising—and fun. It’s incredibly personal, a reader’s reaction to a story. Brilliant language, characters who are alive, wit, a distinctive voice, emotional resonance and clever plotting can’t hurt, of course. But they alone cannot explain what make readers connect with a story. So, for us, the challenge was to select stories that met certain generally accepted standards while recognizing – and encouraging – a highly personal response."...
For the complete interview with Laurel Zuckerman, please see the American Library in Paris Blog