Historic Paris bookstore to relaunch literary magazine

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The Independent Culture

The famous Paris English-language bookstore Shakespeare & Company is planning a "reincarnation" of its Paris Magazine, announced Publishers Weekly on June 2. The relaunch of the literary journal, as well as the start of a new biannual novella prize, will be officially announced during the store's fourth biannual literary festival, scheduled for June 18 through 20.

Sylvia Beach opened the original Shakespeare & Company in 1919; before its closure in 1941, the shop became famous for visits by authors such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein. In 1951, George Whitman opened a bookstore in Paris's Latin Quarter with a similar role in the city's literary culture, later renaming it Shakespeare & Company after Beach's death.

Whitman founded Paris Magazine (not to be confused with The Paris Review) in 1967 with an issue that, according to the Kings College London archives, included the Allen Ginsberg poem "Kansas City to Saint Louis" and Edward Lucie-Smith's article "The Little Presses of England." Two subsequent issues followed, the last published in the late 1980s.

The revamped journal will be edited by Fatema Ahmed, former managing editor of the prestigious UK literary magazine Granta, and published at an as-yet-undetermined frequency. The first new issue includes a new translation of a poem by Apollinaire by Lawrence Ferlinghetti as well as short stories by French-Senegalese author Marie NDiaye and American writer Jesse Ball.

The store's new biannual literary prize will award €10,000 to the author, published or not, of a novella of 20,000-30,000 words. Initial applications are due by December 1.

An official announcement for both the magazine and prize will be made during the Shakespeare & Company Literary Festival, which was founded in 2003 and now welcomes more than 5,000 visitors. The 2010 edition, set for June 18-20, is set to feature writers including Martin Amis, Jeannette Winterson, Fatima Bhutto, Philip Pullman, Njabulo Ndebele, and Nam Le.

Find more information about the Shakespeare & Company Literary Festival at the bookstore's website. Details about the magazine and prize will be posted on June 20.