Literary Agent

Left Bank Waltz: The Australian Bookshop in Paris

by Elaine Lewis

At a time in her life when friends were retiring and spending time with their grandchildren, Elaine Lewis packed her bags and decamped to Paris to open, the first Australian bookshop on the Left Bank.

Full of incredible energy and enthusiasm, and with the help of locals and visiting Australians, she created her shop in the heart of the St-Germain-des-Pres literary quarter. Situated just around the corner from Notre Dame, her cosy literary haven quickly became an important cultural centre and a home away from home for Australian writers and artists in Paris. Writers who were visitors at the bookshop included David Malouf, Helen Garner, Nikki Gemmell and Nick Earls. Elaine hosted events, book readings and encouraged an exchange of ideas and a love of literature, as well as midnight swims in the Seine!

But when some bumbling and nasty French bureaucrats threatened to close down the shop, Elaine and her many staunch supporters were faced with a battle against the establishment that quickly became stranger than fiction.

Left Bank Waltz is the spirited story of an Australian woman’s courageous decision to follow a dream – and in the process, bring great pleasure and a sense of pride to many others.

  • Year of Publication: 2006
  • Genre: Non-Fiction
  • Audience: Adult