Paris Metro Tales, Edited by Helen Constantine

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The Independent Culture

Below the City of Light runs the dark network of tunnels that makes up the Paris Metro. Editor and translator Helen Constantine has collected 22 short stories by French writers that cover a journey that begins at the Gare du Nord and ends at Lamarck-Caulaincourt.

Some of these short fictions take place in the Metro itself, but many are linked to the quartier above ground, while others are set in a time before the metro was even built. Entries range from classic tales by Zola and Maupassant to Marie Desplechin and Paul Fournel.

At Ternes station we emerge to savour Simenon's murderous little story, "The Little Restaurant at Ternes", and at Opera to Colette's account of a Saturday afternoon traffic accident.