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Parisian Days (Pushkin Press Classics)

Parisian Days (Pushkin Press Classics)

Current price: $17.95
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Pushkin Press Classics
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“Every so often a voice emerges from the archive so vivid that it seems impossible that it should ever have been forgotten.”  — Evening Standard

A brilliantly witty memoir telling the story of a young woman's determined struggle to realize her dreams of “freedom and fantasy” in 1920s Paris, appearing in English for the first time

Told with vivacious wit and a lust for life, Parisian Days is a bittersweet portrayal of youthful dreams, and the elusive search for happiness.

The Orient Express hurtles towards the promised land, and Banine is free for the first time in her life. She has fled her ruined homeland and unhappy forced marriage for a dazzling new future in Paris. Now she cuts her hair, wears short skirts, mingles with Russian émigrés, Spanish artists, writers and bohemians in the 1920's beau monde - and even contemplates love.

But soon she finds that freedom brings its own complications. As her family's money runs out, she becomes a fashion model to survive. And when a glamorous figure from her past returns, life is thrown further into doubt. Banine has always been swept along by the forces of history. Can she keep up with them now?

Part memoir, part social history, Parisian Days reads like a novel and feels timely and relevant. Originally published in the 1940s, this will be the first-ever English translation.

About the Author

Banine was born Umm El-Banu Assadullayeva in 1905, into a wealthy family in Baku, then part of the Russian Empire. Following the Russian Revolution and the subsequent fall of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, Banine was forced to flee her home-country - first to Istanbul, and then to Paris. In Paris she formed a wide circle of literary acquaintances including Nicos Kazantzakis, André Malraux, Ivan Bunin and Teffi and eventually began writing herself. Parisian Days continues the story that began with Days in the Caucasus. It was first published in 1947, but has never been translated into English until now.

Anne Thompson-Ahmadova is a writer and translator from Azerbaijani, French and Russian. She lived in Baku for twenty years, moving there in 1997 to set up a Caucasus bureau for the BBC Monitoring Service.