What a wonderful little book about personal, Parisian vignettes tinged with the sadness of losing one’s partner. Coming from someone who just talked his way out of returning to Paris for what I believe is the twelfth time, reading about Paris never gets old. I was not familiar with Edmund White but his “Our Paris: Sketches from Memory” is a dreamy little read because it’s honest, and again, it’s personal.
White, a successful author, is slowly losing his partner to AIDS while attempting to relish what time they have left. His partner, Hubert Sorin, provides the illustrations which are an integral part of this book. If you take yourself seriously and want to find something to hate in every single book you read, well, might skip this one. But if you love Paris, love illustration and enjoy small takes on daily life then you might have a go.
I’m old enough to remember the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic. I remember the fear and the hate and I also know a photographer who went all in on AIDS from day one knowing it was a mega-story that the world hadn’t caught up to. So when I read about this pair attempting to finish something together before time ran out I have to ask “Aren’t we all in the same place?” Trying to make sense of and add to the world around us.