Commuting between English and French, Lauren Elkin chronicles a life in transit. From musings on Virginia Woolf and Georges Perec, to her first impressions in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, to the discovery of her ectopic pregnancy, her diary sketches a portrait of the author, not as an artist, but as a pregnant woman on a Parisian bus. In the troubling intimacy of public transport, Elkin queries the lines between togetherness and being apart, between the everyday and the eventful, registering the ordinary makings of a city and its people.
‘A gentle litany of persistently committed noticing. Paris – as viewed from the vantage point of a daily bus journey – is not so much exhausted as it is enchanted by the gift of attention: the work glitters with life.’ ―Jenn Ashworth, author of Notes Made While Falling
‘In Elkin’s hands, the iPhone is a psychic gauge. On her bus journeys through Paris, she collects insights, images and stray conversation, her notes becoming a portal into the unconscious life of the city. She cultivates deep empathy for her fellow travellers, recognising in them the possibility for meaningful connection. Her story of personal loss, as it unfolds through this journal, is imbued with the textures of collective experience.’ ―Laura Grace Ford, author of Savage Messiah
‘I followed her bus routes as though they were about to be T boned by the future. These mesmerising, elegiac fragments draw attention to what unifies us, and to the act of attention itself.’ ―Olivia Sudjic, author of Sympathy
‘I lapped up this chronicle of the tragic and the banal, in record time, and immediately went searching for more by Lauren Elkin.’ ―Moyra Davey
‘Lauren Elkin’s commuter buses comprise a world where all existential concerns are present – the embodied self, the individual in society, and the bond of casual community. Within this constrained world Elkin observes and dramatizes “the morning thumb ballet of checking all the things I check on my phone” while confronting all that it means to be human.’– Sarah Manguso
‘Like the windows of the 91/92 bus, Elkin’s book is as much an illuminating mirror of many angles as it is a cinema screen. All of these encounters and thoughts build up a compelling portrait of the many cities that hide within the singular name of Paris and the many selves we contain.’- Darran Anderson, author of Inventory
‘Paris in intense, dramatic closeup ― an insider’s entrancing view.’ ― Michèle Roberts
‘Like sitting between Perec and Anne Garreta on a cross-town bus (this is the highest of compliments).’ ― Jonny Diamond, on Twitter
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