For decades, Roger Grenier has been charming readers with compact, erudite books that draw elegant connections between our lives and our love of the arts. Whether he’s turning to literature and philosophy to help us see our canine companions anew in The Difficulty of Being a Dog or mapping a life through cameras and photographers in A Box of Photographs, Grenier’s books feels like a gift from a lost golden age of belles-lettres. With Palace of Books, Grenier invites us to explore the domain of literature, its sweeping vistas and hidden recesses alike.
Engaging such fundamental questions as why people feel the need to write, or what is involved in putting one’s self on the page, or how a writer knows she’s written her last sentence, Grenier marshals apposite passages from his favorite writers: Chekhov, Baudelaire, Proust, Kafka, James, Mansfield and many others Those writers mingle companionably with anecdotes from Grenier’s work as an editor and friend to so many legendary figures, including Albert Camus, Roman Gary, Milan Kundera, and Brassai,. Never didactic, never pedantic, Grenier takes readers gently by the hand and leads them through a series of observations and quotations that have the spontaneity of conversation, yet carry the lasting insights of a lifetime of reading and thinking. Rich with pleasures and eminently quotable, Palace of Books is the perfect companion to old literary favorites, and the perfect introduction to new ones.
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