1915: Adrienne Monnier opens “La Maison des Amis des Livres” in Paris

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7 rue de l'Odéon
75006 Paris, France
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1915Adrienne Monnier, 23, opens her bookshop La Maison des Amis des Livres at 7, rue de l’Odéon, Paris.
“La Maison” sells books but doubles as a library as well, as Adrienne Monnier lends classics and avant-garde poetry.
A flock of young authors, rarely more than 30 years old, soon rallies around her: Jean Cocteau, André Breton, Louis Aragon, as well as their slightly older peers: Paul Valery, André Gide, Guillaume Apollinaire…

1917Sylvia Beach, a young american expatriate who came in Paris to study poetry, enters the shop. There, the thin Sylvia discovers the curvy Adrienne, who set up a kitchen near the library in order to provide not only food for thought, but for the bellies of her favorite customers as well. They instantly sympathize… and will soon become intimate.

Sylvia, speaking french perfectly, becomes a member of the “Amis des Livres” on her 30th birthday.
As the First World War is still going on, Sylvia joins the Red Cross. Back from the front, she plans to open a french literature bookstore in London. As the french literature market is virtually non-existent in England, Adrienne suggests: what about opening an english bookstore in Paris?

round_arrow_right_icon&16The story continues…

s struggle to publish ‘Ulysses’ is depicted in the short movie ‘Left Bank Bookseller’ written, directed and produced by Lisa Reznik.


Cynthia Morris‘ novel ‘Chasing Sylvia Beach’ narrates the tale of a young american bookstore clerk venturing into Paris in the late thirties, seeking after her role model Sylvia Beach.


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