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Paris Times Eight: Finding Myself in the City of Dreams Paperback – Sep 14 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Greystone Books (Sept. 14 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553652681
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553652687
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 18.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #334,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"In this elegantly written memoir, Deirdre Kelly evokes her infatuation with Paris. These eight chapters contain hundreds of adventures, subtly combining poetical descriptions with vivid, confessional details. We leave Kelly's City of Dreams refreshed and fulfilled." (Julie Enfield, author of "Kiss and Tell: An Intimate History of Kissing" 2009-06-08)

"Written in a very engaging style...This charming travel memoir shows us how a person and a city can grow and change in tandem." (Booklist 2009-09-15)

"Witty and candid, this book reveals how cities are as much creations of the imagination as they are constructs of steel, stone, and glass." (Richard Florida, author of "Who's Your City?" 2009-09-01)

"For personal memoirs on Paris with a Canuck slant, check out Toronto author Deirdre Kelly's Paris Times Eight: Finding Myself in the City of Dreams." (Flare 2009-10-01)

"[Kelly's] book, its chapters highlighting eight separate visits beginning in 1979 after high school graduation, is at times pensive, sardonic and laugh-out-loud funny, as it chronicles a real life with all its comedies and tragedies." (Calgary Herald 2009-11-24)

"Erudite, charming, and yet sharply appraising, Kelly's ode to Paris evokes the spirit of the city itself. A lovely book." (Patrice Pearson 2009-05-27)

"Paris Times Eight is a fast-paced, breezy read, its substance subtly woven into a tale of a city whose glamour and beauty never fades." (Ottawa Citizen 2010-05-27)

"Deirdre Kelly is the latest in a line of marvelous writers from Steinbeck to Gertrude Stein who have found their muse in Paris. Hers is a poignant, honest and deliciously sexy coming-of-age story that speaks to any woman who has been there, or ever dreams of going." (Jan Wong, author of "Beijing Confidential" 2009-05-18)

"Kelly recounts how each of her visits to the French capital coincided with a major change in her life, and helped her become the self-proclaimed fashionista she is today. 'Each time I am in Paris, I find myself studying the female populace, emulating the way they wear their hair and tie a scarf, paint their nails and walk everywhere in heels.' Men might even enjoy this read..." (France Guide Prestige 2010 2009-11-01)

"In Kelly's book, Paris comes alive as a character: detailed descriptions abound as Kelly captures the depth, vivacity, and uniqueness of Paris that its champions strive to relate to those who have never experienced it...I found that the greatest accomplishment of Paris Times Eight was its power to rouse in me the longing and hunger for Paris that drove Kelly for nearly thirty years. So, get reading -- I'll meet you at the airport." (SheDoesTheCity.com 2009-11-11)

"A resonant and intriguing voyage of self-discovery." (Adam Egoyan 2009-09-10)

About the Author

Deirdre Kelly is a journalist, author, and internationally recognized dance critic for Dance Magazine, the Dance Gazette, and the Globe and Mail, where for sixteen years she was the paper's dance critic on staff. A contributor to the International Dictionary of Ballet and the online arts group Critics at Large, she is the author of the bestselling memoir Paris Times Eight. Her articles on dance have also appeared in Elle, Vogue, Chatelaine, and Saturday Night. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I bought this book because of the 5 star rating from all the other reviews. This book was an enjoyable read, however I'm hoping this book was cathartic for the author as she seemed to have a lot of pent up animosity towards her mother, employers and even so-called friends. She appears to be a very self-absorbed and spoiled child throughout. I almost gave up on finishing the book as her whinging became tiresome. I took the book in small doses - reading one chapter a night before bed - but near the end just wanted to finish it already. I did love her descriptive voice and her recounting her travels -if only she could have been less bitchy towards her hosts - jet lag maybe???!! Anyway fine read for most francophiles.
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Format: Paperback
Paris Times Eight is exactly what I look for in my leisure reading: it is accessible but still smart, witty and engaging. It is a refreshing change from the typical narratives for female audiences - nothing is forced or exaggerated.

The book is split up into 8 chapters, each a different trip to Paris. The chapters feel almost like short stories as they each take place in a different time in her life. Her experiences are all dramatically different - from young au pair to starving artist; a successful career womans romantic vacation to a mother/daughter trip; a lonely woman to one who is engaged - Kelly illustrates Paris from different poles and perspectives and it is enchanting from each. These short stories are interwoven together as a coming of age story as we see the author develop from as young as high school graduate to mother of two young children. The journey is poignant and thoughtful.

This book does not suffer from the too heavy/dramatic perspective that is akin to many memoirs - it is light enough to read in one sitting, smart enough to make last and engaging enough to read more than once. Kelly's story is consistently honest and candid and its imagery is beautiful, sexy and subtle, like Paris itself.
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Format: Paperback
Was I interested in reading another book on Paris? Well bien sûr!

The "eight" in the title refers to Ms. Kelly's eight visits to Paris, starting when she was just 19. It's a coming-of-age tale for many ages/stages of her life and it is utterly un-put-down-able. I found myself tearing up many times and laughing out loud during others.

Deirdre Kelly, a journalist for the Globe and Mail, is an extremely strong writer who cleverly draws the reader in to her personal experiences as she finds the City of Light alluring, enchanting, frustrating, challenging and sometimes downright disappointing. Yet this novel is never another "I stayed in Paris and here's what I thought of it" experience. It is meaty and raw, seductive and sometimes unsettling. And that to me is what defines a truly great read.
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Format: Paperback
There is nothing "Canada Dry" about this honest , self-exploratory novel. The author tames all the demons from her past in a gentle , motherly way and creats such a visual path of her own Paris, Paris far away for expected "gringo" attractions. This book will have an appeal to readers that are not familiar with D.Kelly's body of work. To those close to her it will serve as a guide to "soal of a friend"
Great reading!
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