Author(s): Susan Conley
When Willie Pears arrives in Paris, she's looking for adventure and to reconnect with her brother, Luke. Even so, when she takes a job teaching at a center for immigrant girls who are all hoping for French asylum, she does not expect to feel so connected to the ups and downs of their lives--or to find romance with their attractive and committed lawyer, Macon. But as Willie learns the girls' histories, the lines between teaching and mothering quickly begin to blur, leading her to make a risky move that will threaten to upend the life and relationships she's found.
"A satisfying cassoulet of questions about home, comfort and love, served with a fresh perspective on a dazzling city." --Elisabeth Egan, "People" "Conley writes beautifully, compellingly [and] with a directness and clarity that is moving without being maudlin. . . . [She] also evokes a vivid sense of Paris. . . Captivating descriptions highlight the hallmarks and quirks of the various arrondissements and neighborhoods with a 'you are here' immediacy." --Karen Campbell, "The Boston Globe""The author of the acclaimed memoir "The Foremost Good Fortune" has written an exquisite debut novel. American Willow Pears lives and teaches in Paris at a center for immigrant girls who have requested asylum in France. The culture, flavor, keen detail, and literature of Paris, India, and the US are lyrically interwoven in a story about hope, love, family, forgiveness, expectation, risk, loss, and letting go." --Susan K. McCann (Essex Books), "The Boston Globe," "Pick of the Week." "Susan Conley's "Paris Was the Place" has the kind of emotional weight you hope for in a novel. Its world, by turns achingly beautiful and brutally unjust, is as vividly rendered as its characters, whose joys and struggles we embrace as our own." --Richard Russo "Susan Conley's deft, moving novel is a beautiful love song, as much to Paris as to that tipping point in life when love and loss combine and perhaps, for the first time, both heartbroken and thrilled, you feel acutely what it means to be fully human and alive." --Sarah Blake, author of "The Postmistress" "Paris Was the Place is a gorgeous love story and a wise, intimate journal of dislocation that examines how far we'll go for the people we love most. I couldn't put it down." --Ayelet Waldman, author of "Red Hook Road"""Paris Was the Place," with its portrait of Paris in the 80's and a narrator whose beloved brother is undone by AIDS, renders viscerally just how the personal becomes the political, and v
Susan Conley is the author of "The Foremost Good Fortune, " a book that won the Maine Literary Award for memoir and was a Goodreads Choice Award finalist. Her writing has appeared in "The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, " and elsewhere. She's been awarded fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Massachusetts Arts Council. She teaches at the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA writing program, and is the cofounder of The Telling Room, a creative-writing lab in Portland, Maine, where she lives with her husband and their two sons.