Impossible City

Impossible City: Paris in the Twenty-First Century

European History, French History
Hardback Published on: 11/04/2024
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From the bestselling author of Chums comes an intimate and absorbing chronicle of Simon Kuper's life in the City of Light. Part travelogue, part historical narrative of the past twenty years in an ever-changing city, Impossible City presents an honest glimpse into one of the most famous cities in the world.


From the bestselling author of Chums comes an explorer's tale of a naïf eventually getting to understand a complex, glittering, beautiful and often cruel society - at least a little.

Simon Kuper has experienced Paris both as a human being and as a journalist.

He has grown middle-aged there, eaten the croissants, seen his wife through life-threatening cancer, 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 their neighbourhood.

Over two decades of becoming something of a cantankerous Parisian himself, Kuper has watched the city change. This century, it has globalised, gentrified, and been shocked into realising its role as the crucible of civilizational 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 then 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 the Paris of today, without the Parisian clichés.

  • Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
  • ISBN: 9781800816480
  • Number of pages: 272
  • Weight: 380g
  • Dimensions: 140 x 216 x 28 mm

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