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A Paris All Your Own Reader’s Guide


A Paris All Your Own by


1.       In the introduction, Eleanor Brown asks, “Why do we love writing—and reading—stories about Paris?” How would you answer this question after reading the collection?
2.       Did you connect with certain essays more than others? Which ones? Why do you think that is?
3.       Discuss the various stereotypes of Paris and Parisians that are mentioned (and often broken down) in A Paris All Your Own. Where did these stereotypes come from? Do they feel accurate?
4.       Discuss the experience of reading a compilation of many different authors as opposed to reading from one point of view. Was it challenging? Surprising?
5.       Why are we as readers drawn to “armchair travel”? What is your favorite aspect of travel writing?
6.       Many of the essays contrast the Paris of the imagination with the reality of life in the city. Did your perception of Paris change after you read A Paris All Your Own? If so, how did it change?
7.       In what ways does history and the power of the past affect both the city itself and the authors who write about it?
8.       Compare and contrast your favorite essays. How did the individual experiences of the city differ? Was there one overwhelming similarity that connected them?
9.       Many of the essayists connect their time in Paris with a certain phase of their life—marriage, motherhood, studying abroad, falling in love. Why do you think this is the case?
10.   What would your perfect trip to Paris look like? How does your vision compare to the authors’ experiences?    
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