Hemingway’s Ode to Paris Becomes a Bestseller Following Attacks
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In the weeks since the attacks on Paris on November 13, Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast has become a symbol of defiance and resilience in France. And it’s selling out of bookstores. Among the candles and flowers that are being left on the sites of the attacks, Parisians are also leaving copies of the 1964 book.
A Moveable Feast is based on Hemingway’s experiences living in Paris in the 1920’s, which he remembers fondly: “We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other.” Since the attacks, which targeted restaurants, Parisians have been reclaiming their café-culture with hash tags like #TousAuBistro, and #JeSuisEnTerrasse, meaning “everyone to the bar” and “I’m at the terrace.” In light of this, it makes sense that a book celebrating the nightlife and culture of Paris would become important to its people.
Indeed, the rise in sales for A Moveable Feast has been incredible, with French publisher Folio claiming the book went up from 10 to 15 sales per day to 500. The publisher is printing 20,000 additional copies. The book is also No. 1 on French Amazon.
Some claim the book’s surge in popularity is owed to a TV-interview with a woman only identified as Danielle, who said that just as important as bringing flowers for the dead was leaving copies of A Moveable Feast, or Paris Est Une Fête (Paris is a Party) as the book is titled in French. Danielle went on to say that France is an old civilization that will uphold it’s values. Danielle’s interview has become a viral sensation in France.
No matter what the reason for the books popularity, it is lovely that Parisians are using it to remember what’s great about their city in the midst of these terrorist attacks.