In 2010, I went to Paris for the first time. I was recovering from a broken heart and, having been on a Hemingway and Fitzgerald kick for as long as I could remember (Dad used to read us Hemingway when my sister and I were kids), I decided Paris was where I needed to be. I knew that I didn’t have some novel that would rival The Great Gatsby in me, nor did I have a life of adventure that would make for a collected work of stories à la Ernest Hemingway, but as a writer, I felt it my duty to go to where the expats called home in the 1920s. The only book I brought with me, since I intended on spending the few months writing, was Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. I had never read it before, but that was the point.
Of all of Hemingway’s works that I had read, loved, obsessed over, practically tearing out my hair wondering why I could never write such prose, I deliberately stayed away from A Moveable Feast. I knew the premise; I knew that within a few pages I’d stumble upon all the greats, living their life of bohemian bliss on the Left Bank; but I also knew I wanted to read it while I was in Paris. The fact that I had not read it, was surprising to everyone I knew, but the way you savor the final bite of a dessert was the way I wanted to experience A Moveable Feast.