French Literary Tours

Step Inside Some of Your Favorite French Books

Follow along on my French Literary Tours, whether you’re visiting France and want to see the sites for yourself, or whether you’re just an armchair traveler. Most of them have book reviews and summaries, and some even have Google Maps to follow along.


lisett'es list


Lisette’s List –  A literary tour of some of the Paris scenes in Susan Vreeland’s 2014 book Lisette’s List, along with some photos from Roussillon and Aix-en-Provence, where the rest of the story takes place.




All The Light We Cannot See – Visit Saint-Malo with Anthony Doerr

A book review with photographs from Saint-Malo in Brittany, the town featured in Anthony Doerr’s brilliant 2014 novel.



madame picasso

Madame Picasso in Paris

A literary and art tour for Anne Girard’s wonderful Madame Picasso in Paris, the story of Pablo Picasso and his mistress Eva Gouel. A lovely walking tour from Montmartre to Montparnasse.



Beautiful American Jeanne MAckin


Lee Miller: The Beautiful American – In which I take you to the sites and scenes in Jeanne Mackin’s 2014 novel The Beautiful American, the story of Lee Miller and Man Ray in 1920s Paris.



lovers chameleon club


Lovers at the Chameleon Club by Francine Prose – A book review and photographs of sites from Francine Prose’s 2014 novel set in Paris during the Nazi occupation.



wide starry sky


Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan – From the author of Loving Frank, the story of the marriage of American artist Fanny van de Grift Osbourne and Louis Stevenson. The two met in an art colony in Grez, France, on the outskirts of Paris. It makes for a lovely day trip from Paris.


i always loved you


I Always Loved You by Robin Oliveira – A book review and a look at the artwork of Cassatt and Degas. Were they lovers or not?



Demeter's Choice

Demeter’s Choice – The story of the American sculptor Mary Lawrence Tonetti. A book review and tour of some of the Paris sites in the book.




small z

Z: A Novel of Zelda FitzgeraldZelda and Scott in Paris: a literary tour of the apartments, cafés and places from Therese Fowler’s novel. Includes photos of the Fitzgeralds’ apartments in Paris from rue de Tilsitt in the Right Bank to rue Vaugirard in the Left Bank, the old Dingo café where Scott Fitzgerald met Ernest Hemingway, as well as La Closerie des Lilas in Montparnasse and the old Michaud’s restaurant in St. Germain. I share some of the stories and myths associated with these famous Lost Generation literary sites.


The Paris Wife by Paula McLain and Paris Without End by Gioia Diliberto – The Hadley Hemingway Tour (Ernest and Hadley’s Left Bank apartments and cafés)



Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay – Sarah’s Key Paris Sites (The Vel’ d’hiv’ Monument near the Eiffel Tower, the Marais neighborhood where Sarah lived, the Shoah Memorial)

Back to Sarah’s Key – In which I discover the fictional courtyard of Sarah’s family’s apartment in Paris.



The Greater Journey by David McCullough – Mary Cassatt’s Greater Journey (Mary Cassatt’s homes on avenue Trudaine and rue Marignon)



Age of Desire by Jennie Fields – A Day In Paris With Edith Wharton (a Google Map tour from Edith Wharton’s Paris apartment and subsequent home of her own on rue de Varenne, to a park near Les Invalides, the Hotel Crillon, La Durée, Foquet’s, and Place Les Etas-Unis)


Leaving Van Gogh by Carol Wallace – Leaving Van Gogh in Auvers (A day trip to Auvers-Sur-Oise)




I Am Madame X by Gioia Diliberto: – John Singer Sargent and Madame X in Paris (John Singer Sargent’s art studios on the Left and Right Banks, Madame X’s home near Park Monceau)



The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston – Lunch With Prankie Pratt (Montparnasse cafés)




The Last Nude by Ellis Avery – The Last Nude: A Literary Tour of Paris (rue de Varenne, rue Guy Maupassant) and The Last Nude: More Paris Sites (La Rotunde, Shakespeare & Co., Pont Sully)




The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal: Art, Books, Paris: The Hare with Amber Eyes (Parc Monceau area)




Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art (Montmartre tour tips)




Pictures at an Exhibition by Sara Hoghteling: Pictures at an Exhibition: Art, War and Memory in Paris (the site of Picasso’s former studio on rue la Boetie and the Jeu de Paume)



Paris My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (And Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas. Paris, My Sweet (A tour of pastry and sweet shops from Pierre Hermés, Angelina’s, Patisserie Stoher’s to La Durée)




Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland – Luncheon of the Boating Party: A Day in Chatou (a visit to the suburb of Chatou on the Seine and the Restaurant de la Maison Fournaise)



Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz – Happy 100th Birthday “Dearie” – A Julia Child Tour of Paris (a sneak peek into the courtyard of Julia’s apartment building at 81 rue de l’Université and a conversation with the landlord, whose husband grew up with Julia as his neighbor)


Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Christina Bjork and Lena Anderson; Charlotte in Giverny by Joan MacPhail Knight – Dreams of Giverny (a day trip to Giverny)




And more . . .

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