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Impossible City : Paris in the Twenty-First Century by Simon Kuper

9781800816480

From the bestselling author of Chums comes an explorer's tale of a naïf getting to understand a complex, glittering, beautiful and often cruel city.

Simon Kuper has experienced Paris both as a human being and as a journalist. He has grown middle-aged there, eaten the croissants, taken his children to countless football matches on freezing Saturday mornings in the city's notorious banlieues, and in 2015 lived through two terrorist attacks on his family's neighbourhood. Over two decades of becoming something of a cantankerous Parisian himself, Kuper has watched the city change.

This century, Paris has globalised, gentrified, and been shocked into realising its role as the crucible of civilisational conflict. Sometimes it's a multicultural paradise, and sometimes it isn't. This decade, Parisians have lived through a sequence of shocks: terrorist attacks, record floods and heatwaves, the burning of Notre Dame, the storming of the city by gilets jaunes, and the pandemic. Now, as the Olympics come to town, France is busy executing the 'Grand Paris' project: the most serious attempt yet to knit together the bejewelled city with its neglected suburbs.

This is a captivating memoir of today's Paris without the clichés.

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Binding: Hardback,
Pagination: 272 pages, None

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