Advertisement

NONFICTION

OUR PARIS: Sketches from Memory by Edmund White and Hubert Sorin. (Knopf: $22; 122 pp.) “Our Paris” begins on March 17, 1994, the day that Hubert Sorin, architect, illustrator, friend and lover of Edmund White, dies of AIDS. Between Sorin’s very French, very silly, very witty drawings of their neighborhood in Paris and White’s superb, gracious, pristine, sweet descriptions of their life in that neighborhood, one is left feeling only happy for them, generous and expansive (the way all good lovers affect people around them), and exuberant that daily life can hold so much humor and coincidence. There is Fred, the couple’s basset hound and a great admirer of the local butcher; Madame Denise, the concierge who is “sweet, funny and above all, discreet”; Father Riches, who knows every famous gay writer in the world and can out name-drop even White; Billy Boy, the joallier with a passion for Barbie dolls; Pierre Guyotat, the avant-garde author and self-created legend; the local prostitutes and chanteuses. All of the sounds and smells and colors of this parade drift up, past the bookstore, Mona Lisait, to the balcony of Hubert, Fred and Edmund.


Advertisement
Advertisement