Purple Prose: Part 1

The first in our new bi-weekly series of the best holidays reads. This week, we’re obsessed with the French and their chic, innovative style of writing. Impress your fellow holidayers with some of the best Parisian exports around, all you need know is a black coffee, un macaron pistache and a high-held nose. Ooh la la…

Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Author of the all-time classic children’s book, The Little Prince, Saint Exupery is a poet of action. This book draws from his experience as a pilot for the Aeropostale, the first mail route across the Sahara and the Andes. A rich, autobiographical narrative, complemented by interweaving stories of nomadic Arabs and sky-high adventure, all topped off by the miraculous story of his survival from a crash in the Libyan desert. Your imaginative will be travelling with you.

Life: A User’s Manual by Georges Perec
Truly an ingenious work of modern fiction, Perec brings to life an entire microcosm in one Parisian apartment block. Protaganist Serge Valène wants to create an elaborate painting of the building he has made his home for the last 60 years. As he plans his picture, he contemplates the lives of all the people he has ever known there. Chapter by chapter, the narrative moves around the building revealing the unlikely stories of each apartment dweller, , which range from an avenging murderer to an eccentric English millionaire who has devised the ultimate pastime.

The Ladies’ Paradise by Emile Zola
Tells the story of the young Denise who is seeking work in Paris, and, Octave Mouret, the ambitious director of the shopping emporium, who exploits his power to manipulate the desire his refined merchandise arouses in his female consumers. Emile Zola breathes pulsating life into the glittering Parisian department store based on Le Bon Marché.

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