Friday, August 5, 2011
Paris, Paris on 3QD and The Little Book That Could
Writer-chef-explorer extraordinaire Elatia Harris -- no relation to my wife Alison Harris -- interviewed me for a great website I did not formerly know: 3quarksdaily.com.
It's always jarring to be on the other side of the mike -- or keyboard. I've conducted hundreds of interviews over the last 20-odd years. I've given a few, too. Of them, this is outstandingly good (not because I'm such a fascinating person, but because Elatia is such a good interviewer and writer).
Here's the opening paragraph:
In 1986, San Francisco-born David Downie, a scholar and multilingual translator, moved to Paris, into a real garret -- a maid's room, in fact -- to write himself into another way of life. Fresh from Milan, his marriage to a Milanese finished, he was still young enough for years more of getting it right. A quarter century later, his authority on matters Parisian is acknowledged by Jan Morris, Diane Johnson, and Mavis Gallant, to name only a few illustrious admirers.
Happily the interview is also about Alison and includes many fine photos from Rome, Paris and elsewhere.
Photos such as this one (copyright Alison Harris)
Much to my surprise and delight, The New Yorker picked up the interview. The power of new media is startling.
Speaking of which, Paris, Paris is a surprise bestseller. It was released on April 5 and in under four months has gone through four print runs... This is astonishing, given the publicity budget (budget? what budget?) and the not-dumbed-down nature of the book.
Thanks to all of you for buying so many copies, and telling your friends! Merci mille fois...