Parisians in Profile: Jérôme Callais, Bouquiniste on the Seine

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Parisians in Profile: Jérôme Callais, Bouquiniste on the Seine
This is the second in an exclusive series of illustrated “Parisians in Profile” about Parisians from all walks of life, created by journalist Emma Jacobs. Here we feature Jérôme Callais, head of Paris’s Cultural Association of the Bouquinistes, the booksellers whose stalls line the Seine river. Filled with antiquarian books, vintage prints and postcards, these green stands are a centuries-old tradition and an iconic part of the Parisian landscape. Quotes have been lightly edited for length and clarity. If you have suggestions of people you’d like to see featured in future installments, please leave them in the comments section below.

Lead photo credit : "Parisians in Profile: Jérôme Callais" by Emma Jacobs

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Emma Jacobs is a multimedia journalist in Paris. Her work airs on American and Canadian radio and podcasts and has appeared in publications including The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. You can follow her sketches around the city on Instagram @emma.sketches and also find her on Twitter @ecjacobs.


  • Michael James
    2016-12-30 11:09:14
    Michael James
    Ok, that has thrown up an idea. How about a feature on the (living) authors who write crime-fiction set in Paris. Here are just the ones I am aware of: Claude Izner (Liliane Korb and Laurence Lefevre): the Victor Legris series (12 titles). Fred Vargas, another nom de plume hiding the curious Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau, really a medieval historian, archaeologist who works for the CNRS. Writes the Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg series (at least 9 books) which was also made into a tv series starring Jean-Hughes Anglade (of Betty Blue fame). Cara Black of the Aimée Léduc ("Murder in/on ..."), female detective, series; 16 in the series so far, producing average one per year since 1998! Frédérique Molay of Chief Inspector Nico Sirsky series. Another interesting person, here is her Amazon description: "author of the international bestseller The 7th Woman. She graduated from France’s prestigious Science Po and began her career in politics and the French administration. She worked as Chief of Staff for the Deputy Mayor of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and then was elected to the local government in Saône-et-Loire." Also Frederic Dard who died in 2000 but whose prodigious output of 300 psychological thrillers is now being published for the first time in English (4 books in press beginning with 3 in 2016). Mark Pryor (Wiki extract:) is a British mystery writer and Assistant District Attorney for Travis County, Texas. He is best known for his mystery novels featuring Hugo Marston, a former FBI agent from Texas, and now head of security at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. Alan Furst, though not crime-fiction, needs a special mention with his 13-book series of exceptional quality espionage tales set in the second world war. Though venturing all over Europe each is based in Paris which is where Furst wrote the first 4 books. Pierre Lemaitre of the Commandant Camille Verhœven series (4 so far I think). Alexander Campion author of the Capucine Culinary Mystery series (eg. Crime Fraiche!). Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noël Balen of the Winemaker Detective series (but only one set in Paris I think). Others: Seth Lynch, Steve Berry, Dr Michel Glautier, Laurie King; Hervé Le Corre, Antonin Varenne, Dominique Sylvain.