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by Kerri Maher

The Paris Bookseller: A Novel

The Paris Bookseller: A Novel

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In "The Paris Bookseller" by Kerri Maher, prepare to embark on a literary journey that's as enchanting as it is impactful. Heralded as "a love letter to bookstores and libraries" by The Boston Globe, this novel unveils the extraordinary tale of a humble bookseller who defied insurmountable odds to introduce one of the 20th century's most significant books to the world.

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From the author of "The Girl in White Gloves," this eagerly awaited 2022 release has garnered recognition from prestigious sources, including PopSugar, BookTrib, SheReads, Reader's Digest, and BookBub.

Set in 1919 Paris, the story revolves around the bookish and determined Sylvia Beach, whose creation of Shakespeare and Company—an unassuming haven for literature—ushers in a transformative era for literary culture.

As Sylvia opens her bookstore on a quiet Parisian street, little does she know that her endeavor will rewrite the course of literature. Beyond its role as a bookstore and lending library, Shakespeare and Company emerges as a sanctuary for iconic writers of the Lost Generation. The bond between Irish author James Joyce and Sylvia flourishes within its walls, setting the stage for a daring move that forever changes the literary landscape: the publication of Joyce's banned masterpiece, "Ulysses."

Yet, with the triumph of publishing this groundbreaking work comes profound challenges. Sylvia must navigate the turbulence of success, contend with rival publishers vying for Joyce's attention, and weather the storm of personal and financial crises. Against the backdrop of a deepening Depression and the return of expatriate friends to America, Sylvia is faced with a defining choice—determine the true essence of Shakespeare and Company in a world where the power of books and relationships intertwine.

"The Paris Bookseller" stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of those who champion literature's impact on lives, communities, and the world. Join us on this captivating journey as we uncover the remarkable legacy of Sylvia Beach and her legendary bookstore, where pages hold the power to shape destinies and forge unbreakable bonds.


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Editorial Reviews

"Readers are transported to 1919 Paris, where the brave and visionary Sylvia Beach defies conventions. Amidst the backdrop of interwar Paris, her creation of Shakespeare and Company and daring publication of "Ulysses" shine. A must-read tribute to an extraordinary woman." - Starry Ferry Books

“A beautiful ode to Sylvia Beach, the renowned Shakespeare and Company owner, a real-life heroine who has left her mark on us all.”—Marie Benedict,New York Times bestselling coauthor ofThe Personal Librarian

“Maher vividly reimagines the indomitable Beach, who struggled for years to getUlyssespublished."—The Washington Post

“Wholly immersive, a literary romp through Left Bank Paris…an enchanting glimpse of the storied lost generation through a female gaze.”—Toronto Star

“Maher’s new historical novelThe Paris Bookselleris at once a paean to Beach, and a love letter to bookstores and libraries.”—The Boston Globe

“Kerri Maher’sThe Paris Bookseller is a worthy homage to Sylvia Beach and a love letter to all bookstores, libraries, and the passionate and committed women who run them.” —New York Journal of Books

“If you ever dreamed you could transport yourself to Paris in the twenties, to Sylvia Beach's famous bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, where Joyce, Hemingway, and Pound wandered the aisles, this story’s for you. Maher’s magical touch brings to life a woman whose struggles resonate in today’s world, while also examining the intricacies of friendship, fortitude, and the love of the written word.”—Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author ofThe Lions of Fifth Avenue

“The Paris Bookseller is a novel I long to live in, a vivid evocation of the famous female-owned Parisian bookshop Shakespeare and Company which acted as haven and home to the literati of pre-WWII Europe. Heroine and shop owner Sylvia Beach shepherds seemingly all of the great writers of the 20th century with an appealing blend of warmth, wit, frustration, and understanding. Kerri Maher writes a love letter to books, bookstores, and book lovers everywhere.”—Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author ofThe Rose Code

"A story about Paris and bookshops was bound to find a place in my heart but this one has the pièce de résistance: the character of Sylvia Beach. I was completely enthralled by Beach’s life and her tenacity in founding the first English-language bookshop in Paris, while also publishing James Joyce’s epic but controversialUlysses. With an abundance of delightful cameos from all of your favourite literary heroes as well as a fascinating rendering of Paris’s glory days during the 1920s and 30s, this novel will transport you as only the best historical fiction can.”—Natasha Lester,New York Times bestselling author ofThe Paris Secret

Midnight in Paris meets A Moveable Feast in this intimate, in-depth look at the brave and visionary woman who founded one of the world's most iconic bookstores, Shakespeare and Company, on Paris's Left Bank. Studded with appearances from the likes of James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway, The Paris Bookseller brings alive not only interwar Paris, but also the complicated friendship that led to the publication of Joyce's epic Ulysses and helped pave the way for Paris's enduring English-language literary legacy. If you've ever fallen in love with a bookstore, you'll love this ode to booksellers and to the power and magic of the written word.”—Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author ofThe Forest of Vanishing StarsThe Paris Bookseller is a beautifully written homage to those who keep literature alive and to the quirky inhabitants of the literary community whose work sometimes transcends their personal failings. With an open heart and vivid prose, Maher brings to life a lost age and I can't wait to see what this talented author will tackle next.”—Stephanie Dray,New York Times bestselling author ofThe Women of Chateau Lafayette“In her latest, Maher throws open a window to 1920s Paris and the Lost Generation, dropping readers into the fascinating true story of one woman’s fight to save a masterpiece. Maher weaves a tale that is atmospheric, heartfelt, and brimming with life, leaving no doubt a novel is a living, breathing thing.”—Michelle Gable,New York Times bestselling author ofA Paris Apartment andThe Bookseller’s Secret

“This compelling biographical novel perfect for lit lovers follows Sylvia Beach and the founding of bookstore Shakespeare and Company in Paris…. Come for the love of books and Sapphic passion and stay for the frequent cameos by the likes of Ezra Pound and Ernest Hemingway.”—BuzzFeed Books

“A fine tribute to a tireless and selfless champion of literary genius.”—Kirkus“In a novel exuberant, bittersweet, and reflective by turns, Maher explores the life of Sylvia Beach…readers will emerge with sincere appreciation for the artistic spirit and courage of a remarkable woman.”—Historical Novel Society

“Recommended to fans of Paula McLain’sThe Paris Wifeand anyone who enjoyed Hemingway'sA Moveable Feast.”—Booklist(starred review)

The Paris Bookselleris a beautiful window into the life of a fascinating woman who defied convention in almost every area of her life and succeeded in publishing one of the most controversial novels of the early twentieth century…. The emotional depth that Maher gives to historical figures who have achieved almost mythological status in our cultural ethos is riveting and leaves readers with a lingering sense of familiarity that won’t soon be forgotten.”—Manhattan Book Review

“Dazzling like Paris, rich and immersive like the work it celebrates, and bursting with heart and passion like every great bookstore,The Paris Bookselleris a dream for book lovers from start to finish.”—Steven Rowley, Bestselling author ofThe Editor andThe Guncle

“Kerri Maher vividly transports us back in time to the establishment of the world’s most famous and beloved bookstore, Shakespeare and Company. Its founder, Sylvia Beach is brilliantly portrayed as is her fight to publish one of the greatest novels ever written. Filled with such literary luminaries as James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Paris Bookseller is a bibliophile’s dream come true.”—Renée Rosen, USA Today bestselling author ofThe Social Graces

“The Paris Bookseller is a compelling portrait of a remarkable woman, who steps from the pages in all her charm, courage and vulnerability. It’s also a colourful snapshot of literary Paris in the 1920s, with its glamour and gossip, ogres and egos. Meticulously researched yet above all a page-turning story, this is historical fiction at its best.”—Gill Paul,USA Today bestselling author ofThe Collector's Daughter

“If you've ever gotten lost in the narrow, deliciously overcrowded aisles of Shakespeare and Company, or you just want to imagine you have, this is the novel for you. Kerri Maher brings to life the fascinating history of Shakespeare and Company and its founder, Sylvia Beach, whose vision and drive led her to create not only a world-famous bookstore, but to defy the censors and publish the first edition of Joyce'sUlysses.Intelligent, fierce, and filled with reverence for a fascinating epoch in literary history,The Paris Bookseller is a delight for readers and writers.”—Whitney Scharer, Author ofThe Age of Light

The Paris Bookseller is at once a moving love letter to 1920s Paris, an insight into the Lost Generation, and an ode to a woman's fight for freedom.It brings to life the all-consuming relationship between a bookseller and a work of art in such a compelling way that I couldn't stop turning the pages, and I closed the book yearning for a place like Shakespeare and Company. A sparkling read.”—Evie Dunmore,USA Todaybestselling author ofBringing Down the Duke“Maher offers an alluring look at the history of Paris’s Shakespeare and Company bookstore…Maher’s portrayal of Sylvia ably capitalizes on the historical figure’s singular life, highlighting how the bookseller and publisher embraced the progressive literature of the time and established a loving partnership with Adrienne that would not have been accepted in the U.S.”—Publishers Weekly

“The Paris Bookseller brings to life this influential woman and her struggles to honor her love of literature following her decision to publish Ulysses and the financial crises that the Great Depression brings.”—SheReads

The Paris Bookseller is a wonderful tribute to the visionary woman who fought for freedom of speech and changed the landscape of literature forever. By bringing a memorable cast of quirky and charming artistic giants to life, Kerri Maher deftly creates an intimate look at the story behind Shakespeare and Company, one of the most beloved landmarks for readers everywhere. I was captivated by this fascinating story!”—Elise Hooper, Author ofFast Girls

“A love letter to the extraordinary people who made interwar Paris the place to be for book lovers. With distinctive prose and honesty, Kerri brings to life the glory days of Paris’s most unforgettable bookstore, illuminating a world where leading literary lights await us on every page — and spotlighting the woman who united them all, Miss Sylvia Beach.”—Bryn Turnbull, AuthorThe Woman Before Wallis

“The unexpected bonus in this mesmerizing novel is the saga of Sylvia Beach’s friendship with James Joyce and her decision to publish Ulysses when publishers showed no interest, a difficult decision made even more difficult by Joyce himself.The Paris Bookseller drops you in the middle of Paris and delicious, intimate encounters with literary greats and soon-to-be-greats who frequented Shakespeare and Company in the years between the world wars.”—Janie Chang, Author ofDragon Springs Road andThe Library of Legends

“Kerri Maher’sThe Paris Bookseller tells the captivating story of Sylvia Beach, her famed bookstore Shakespeare and Company, and the tremendous role both played in the artistic landscape of interwar Paris. Here literary giants are brought to vivid life in the aisles of a charming Parisian bookshop, and we see not only their humanity, but also their courage in forging new paths in a changing world. Inspiring, fascinating, and delightful, this story will resonate with readers long after the final page.”—Kristin Beck, Author ofCourage, My Love

“Absorbing, intricate, and beautifully told,The Paris Bookseller is the unforgettable true story of Sylvia Beach, a champion of modern literature who made enormous sacrifices in the struggle to publish James Joyce’s classic novel,Ulysses, while also establishing Shakespeare and Company, a bookstore that became the Parisian home for literary luminaries of her day. With all the color and verve of post WWI Paris and the deep love of literature that pervades every page,The Paris Bookselleris a novel for book lovers to treasure.”—Christine Wells, author ofSisters of the Resistance

“Amid Shakespeare and Company’s ups and downs…Sylvia and Adrienne create a loving partnership in a time when queer relationships were far less accepted, even in Paris…With its insider’s view of the literary expat world of 1920s Paris,The Paris Bookseller will appeal to fans of Paula McClain’s The Paris Wife.”—BookPage

The Paris Bookseller lulls you into an interwar Parisian dream where love—be it romantic, friendly, or even for a book—can be found on a quirky little street in the 6th. Kerri Maher’s pen skillfully imagines the life of American expat Sylvia Beach and her bookstore Shakespeare and Company in the 1920s and 1930s. This book is a charming escape into the real life literary paradise that was once known as Odeonia.”—Kaia Alderson, author ofSisters in Arms

“With a cast of characters that span the Lost Generations’ literary pantheon,The Paris Bookseller offers up both a sweeping story of artistic creativity in the face of censorship as well as an intimate portrait of one woman’s struggle to remain true to herself. Maher’s lush writing and rich historical detail will have you thinking about Sylvia and her bookshop long after you’ve turned the final page.”—Alex Rickloff, Author ofThe Way to London“Kerri Maher leads us through Bohemian Paris in the 1920s with all the joie de vivre we could hope for. Through love and books, a fresh Sylvia Beach creates a new life after meeting impressive Parisian bookseller Adrienne Monnier, and by the arrival of Irish writer James Joyce in their circle. A compelling and fascinating look at the world-changing mavericks who bonded, bickered, and triumphed in the realm of literature.”—Nuala O’Connor, author ofNora: A Love Story of Nora and James Joyce

"A scrupulously-researched, enchanting novel,The Paris Bookseller is a feast of literary pre-war Paris. I was transported by Maher’s portrait of the iconic Sylvia Beach and her magical bookshop."—Michaela Carter, author ofLeonora In the Morning Light

“Kerri Maher’s enchanting historical novel follows American Sylvia Beach, founder of the storied Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company, as she opens her doors in 1919 and then courageously commits to publishing her friend James Joyce’sUlysses, which had been banned in the United States.”—The Christian Science MonitorPraise forThe Girl in White Gloves

“The stunning and very human story of a beloved icon....Full of nuance and poignancy—this novel is gorgeous.”—Allison Pataki,New York Timesbestselling author ofThe Queen’s Fortune

“[A] fascinating, deeply researched novel of the extraordinary Grace Kelly...establishes Maher as a true force in biographical fiction.”—Beatriz Williams, New York Times best selling author ofThe Golden Hour

“A captivating look behind the scenes at the life of the iconic Grace she searches for authenticity in a world clamoring instead for a picture-perfect princess.”—Marie Benedict,New York Times best selling author ofThe Only Woman in the Room

“Daring and deep. Maher successfully lifts the curtain of mystery that surrounded a princess and a movie star, revealing a headstrong, complex woman with a riveting story to tell.”—Fiona Davis, National bestselling author ofThe Chelsea Girls

“InThe Girl in White Gloves, Kerri Maher beautifully envisions the reality of this fairy-tale life. This deeply researched novel is perfect for fans of Grace Kelly, royal-watchers, and fans of biographical fiction alike.”PopSugar

“In this charming, picturesque novel, readers are swept away…this story is a glimpse into the dazzling life of a classic and beloved star.”—Woman’s World

“Maher's bio-fic feels as if it was written by Kelly herself. The novel spins a fascinating version of the Philly native's life, from princess of Hollywood to Princess of Monaco.”Philadelphia MagazinePraise forThe Kennedy Debutante

“A riveting reimagining of a true tale of forbidden love.”—People“Maher’s debut stars a debutante to root for in this moving coming-of-age tale.”—Kate Quinn,New York Times best selling author ofThe Alice Network andThe Huntress

“Maher beautifully mixes the red-blooded American iconography of the Kennedys with the delicious and Downton Abbey-esque grandeur of Britain's upper crusts…[Kick] proves a poignant and captivating subject, and her story will make your heart lurch in the best possible ways.”—Allison Pataki, New York Times best selling author ofThe Accidental Empress

“A vivid and engrossing portrayal of the fascinating life of Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy. Maher offers a dazzling glimpse of London society filled with a rich, nuanced, and infamous cast of characters alongside a poignant depiction of the emotional cost of war. A stunning debut!”—Chanel Cleeton,New York Timesbestselling author ofNext Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick“Kerri Maher has crafted a compelling, insightful look into the complexities of the Kennedy era and one of its most fascinating daughters. Expertly researched, this is a remarkable debut.”—Susan Meissner, Bestselling author ofAs Bright as Heaven

“You will be swept up, first and foremost, by its vivid, captivating heroine. Kick Kennedy was naive and privileged, to be sure, but in Maher's masterful portrait, she is also a bold young woman living at a precarious moment in history, eager to make her mark on the world as fearlessly as she will follow her heart.”—Julia Glass, Author ofA House Among the Treesand the National Book Award–winningThree Junes

About the Author

Kerri Maher is also the author of *This Is Not A Writing Manual: Notes for the Young Writer in the Real World* under the name Kerri Majors. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and founded YARN, an award-winning literary journal of short-form YA writing. For many years a professor of writing, she now writes full time and lives with her daughter in Massachusetts where apple picking and long walks in the woods are especially fine. She is a budding Instagrammer at @kerrimaherwriter, and you can also find her on Facebook at @kerrimaherwriter and on her website,

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