In 1920s Paris, Adrienne Monnier provided a focal point for the writers and artists drawn to the Left Bank. Her bookstore in the Rue de l’Odeon was aptly called La Maison des Amis des Livres.
Monnier took a simple though sophisticated delight in language, books, art, music, nature, friendship, and food. Her 1940 journal, written as Paris fell to the Germans and originally published in 1976, is a rich tapestry of essays, reviews, and personal recollections. She goes to lunch with Colette, visits T. S. Eliot, befriends Joyce, argues with Breton, takes walks with Gide, publishes her elegant reviews, and reflects on the ballet, opera, Steinberg drawings, Marlon Brando and Alec Guinness movies, and the country of her birth.