Up next for spring, 2015:
A Passion for Paris: Romancisim and Romance in the City of Light, pub date 28 April 2015 (St. Martin's Press).
A unique combination of memoir, history, and travelogue, this is author David Downie’s irreverent quest to uncover why Paris is the world’s most romantic city—and has been for over 150 years.
“Downie is the consummate guide… encyclopedic knowledge of the city and its magical story. Anyone who loves Paris will adore this joyful book.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Wickedly humorous… exquisitely told… a must-read for true Paris lovers."-Harriet Welty Rochefort, author of Joie de Vivre
"Wildly entertaining, operatic… seems to offer up a whole new Paris."-Penelope Rowlands, author of Paris was Ours
“Wholly original… a love letter, but also a carefully considered précis on an enduring theme. This is the book Downie was clearly meant to write. Bravo!”—Barrie Kerper, author of The Collector Traveler series
“Getting to Paris is easy, but getting into it takes a David Downie. With fork, sturdy shoes and boundless curiosity, Downie probes deeply. And then with wit and enthusiasm, he serves it up masterfully.”—Mort Rosenblum, author of A Goose from Toulouse and Mission to Civilize: The French Way.
We'll be on tour nationwide. Please visit the Books Page for our complete schedule, with regular updates on my blog. Order from your local indie bookstore or IndieBound on line. Other on-line sources if you must…
Contact Kathryn Hough (print and broadcast media) or Alastair Hayes (electronic media).
Many of you know me as a travel, food and wine writer, a benign curmudgeon who prowls the big cities and back roads of France and Italy in search of the authentic and unadulterated.
My latest print and e-book efforts in this genre - each with striking photography by Alison Harris - are the critically acclaimed Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light (now into its 10th printing and available as an audiobook) and Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptical Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James. Part adventure story, part personal memoir Paris to the Pyrenees is pure quirkiness and irreverence.
“An entertaining read… fabulous company!”—Jacki Lyden, NPR's All Things Considered
Listen to an interview with NPR's legendary radio host Jacki Lyden about the book and our adventure.
Listen to David while he's walking across Paris on the pilgrimage route with NPR's Paris correspondent Eleanor Beardsley.
The surprise bestseller
My latest adventure tale-cum- travel memoir is Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James.
Part adventure story, part cultural history the author of Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light explores the phenomenon of pilgrimage along the age-old Way of Saint James in France.
Watch David interviewed on TV about Paris to the Pyrenees.
Listen to David talking to Sheila Hamilton of "Speaking Freely" on KINK FM in Portland about Paris to the Pyrenees.
On another front: my food/wine and travel books include Food Wine Rome (now also an app, see below…) and Food Wine Burgundy, plus Quiet Corners of Rome, and the classic Enchanted Liguria. All four will be out soon as e-books.
November 2013 was a busy month: on the 5th came the release of my thriller Paris City of Night as an e-book by Pegasus Classics–see my blog posts or the book page for details–and on Nov 15 the long-awaited audiobook version of Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light, the perennial little book of essays that could, finally arrived. It was worth the wait.
Another big news item is the release of my first-ever app: David Downie’s Paris Timeline. It gives you hundreds of highly illustrated short takes on key Dates in Paris from 8000 BC to the present, plus key People, Places and Events. This is more than a Wikipedia-style history app: it’s 100-percent Paris with lots of surprising details and a distinctly unconventional point of view. Paris Timeline is the first of many apps to come. Stay tuned.
ENTERTAINING, INFORMATIVE, OPINIONATED
David Downie’s Paris Time Line brings Paris alive, and David Downie's Food Wine Rome brings the best of Rome to your table.
The Paris Time Line is much more than a Wikipedia-style listing. It features Paris and Paris alone and goes into places revealing details you’ll find nowhere else.
Travel and food writing and my addiction to history and perambulation have spawned a parallel activity: custom walking tours of Paris, Burgundy, Rome and the Italian Riviera.
Looking forward to meeting you on the page or on the pavement,
David D. Downie
David D. Downie is a San Franciscan who moved to Paris in the 1980s and divides his time between France and Italy. His travel, food and arts features have appeared in over 50 magazines and newspapers worldwide. He’s a European correspondent for Gadling.com and Travora.com, and is the author of a dozen nonfiction books, two thrillers, and a series of upcoming history, travel and food/wine apps.
Take a custom tour of Paris with David and Alison Harris.
“David, you and Alison did a fabulous job with our motley group. We came for the food and devoured the history! We were dazzled by your encyclopedic knowledge of everything from Frankish kings to Frank Gehry's architecture. We will definitely be back for a second helping!”—Laurie Petersen et al
“David Downie is the master of educated curiosity.”—Michael Ondaatje
Posts Preview from David D.Downie's blog
- A PASSION FOR PARIS: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light, Book Tour, spring 2015, update February 5, 2015 Our spring 2015, coast-to-coast extravaganza to celebrated the publication of A PASSION FOR PARIS: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light, is shaping up nicely. See below for a…
- Starred Review for A Passion for Paris on Kirkus Reviews February 4, 2015 Bonjour! I can’t help sharing this rave, starred review in the notoriously "difficult" (discerning?) Kirkus Reviews: KIRKUS REVIEW Join Downie (Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of St.…
- A Passion for Paris: the Romance of Paris Theaters Then and Now January 30, 2015 Is theater in Paris romantic and Romantic? Yes indeed, Romantic with a capital “R” as in Romanticism and the Great Romantics. The Age of Romanticism lives…
- A Passion for Paris: The Age of Romanticism lives on in Paris January 24, 2015 The Arsenal Library in Paris The Age of Romanticism lives on in Paris, in the streets, parks, buildings and cityscape—and in the hearts and minds of countless Parisians. They…
- Charlie Hebdo and French Caricature: Children of the Revolution and Romantic Age January 13, 2015 Louis XVI shown as a glutton, Revolutionary era caricature Caricature has always been a dangerous business in France: starting from the earliest days of political or religious caricature during…
- Paris and Freedom: Censorship and Terror Have Never Worked and Will Never Work January 12, 2015 The spirit of 1789--and 1830, 1848, 1871, 1944, 1968 and 2015 (not to mention a dozen dates in ancient, medieval, and pre-modern history--lives on. When attempts are made by theocrats,…
- The raison d’être of A Passion for Paris January 3, 2015 Blame Nadar: his noir—noir et blanc I should say—influence helped lure me to Paris way back when. I wanted to take up residence in one of his black-and-white photos,…
- FOOD WINE ROME: Excerpts from the app. Your Daily Delight: E. Volpetti & Co. September 22, 2014 FOOD WINE ROME: Excerpts from the app. Your Daily Delight: E. Volpetti & Co. on Via Marmorata in the Testaccio neighborhood Rome, the best food city in Italy?…
- David Downie’s Paris Timeline sampler #2, the reign of Louis XIV, in a nutshell August 13, 2014 Horsing around, in regal fashion Why was the reign of Louis XIV considered France’s “Golden Age?” Keep reading and might find out. Louis’ period comprises dozens of key dates…
- #Paris Date-a-Day sampler: David Downie’s Paris Timeline, today’s date: 52 BC August 11, 2014 Why 52 BC? Keep reading and you’ll find out. It’s one of the key dates in the history of Paris (hint: it’s also a key date in the…
- FOOD WINE ROME: Excerpts from the app. Daily Delight 3# Settimo Gelo Ice Cream August 9, 2014 From the intro: Rome, the best food city in Italy? Maybe. One thing’s for sure: Rome ranks high among Italy’s great food cities. It is an obscenely rich capital…
- FOOD WINE ROME: Excerpts from the app. Daily Delight #2, Caffè Sant’Eustachio August 2, 2014 Rome, the best food city in Italy? Maybe. One thing’s for sure: Rome ranks high among Italy’s great food cities. It is an obscenely rich capital city and has the…
- FOOD WINE ROME: Excerpts from the app. Daily Delight #1 Roscioli July 30, 2014 This is the first in an occasional series of sample excerpts from Food Wine Rome the app. Rome, the best food city in Italy? Maybe. One thing’s for…
- David Downie’s Food Wine Rome app is now available via iTunes July 16, 2014 At long last... my Food Wine Rome is ready! Based on the award-winning, critically acclaimed short history of Rome's foods and wines, with hundreds of restaurants, trattorias, osterias, wine…
- Paris to the Pyrenees, From a Traveler’s Notebooks, Part 16: Vercingetorix at the strange local history museum in Saint Pere sous Vezelay May 13, 2014 800x600 Paris to the Pyrenees, From a Traveler’s Notebooks, Part 16: Vercingetorix at the strange local history museum in Saint Pere sous Vezelay These blog posts are…
- Paris to the Pyrenees, From a Traveler’s Notebooks, Part 15: Saint Pere sous Vezelay and Marc Meneau and l’Esperance May 11, 2014 Paris to the Pyrenees, From a Traveler’s Notebooks, Part 15: Saint Pere sous Vezelay and Marc Meneau and l'Esperance These blog posts are taken directly from my notebooks. They…
- NPR Interview with Jacki Lyden about Paris to the Pyrenees: The paperback is out! May 9, 2014 To mark the May 2014 release of the paperback version of Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James, I'm sharing a link…
- Paris to the Pyrenees, From a Traveler’s Notebooks, Part 14: A Bang-Up Meal at the Lion d’Or and we’re off… to Saint Pere sous Vezelay! May 8, 2014 Paris to the Pyrenees, From a Traveler’s Notebooks, Part 14: A Bang-Up Meal at the Lion d'Or and we're off... These blog posts are taken directly from my…