From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres and the New York Times best-selling Last Hundred Years Trilogy, a captivating, brilliantly imaginative story of three extraordinary animals—and a little boy—whose lives intersect in Paris
PARAS IN PARIS
by Jane Smiley
Paras is a spirited young racehorse living at a stable in the French countryside. One afternoon she pushes open the gate of her stall—she’s a curious filly—and, after traveling through the night, arrives by chance in Paris. She’s dazzled, and often mystified, by the sights, sounds and smells around her, but she isn’t afraid. Soon she meets an elegant dog, a German shorthair pointer named Frida, who knows how to get by in the city without attracting the attention of suspicious Parisians. Paras and Frida coexist for a time in the city’s lush green spaces, nourished by Frida’s strategic trips to the butchery and the bakery. They keep company with two irrepressible ducks, and by an opinionated crow. But then Paras meets a human boy, Etienne, and discovers a new, otherworldly part of Paris: the secluded, ivy-walled house where the boy and his nearly-one-hundred-year-old great grandmother live, quietly and unto themselves. As the cold weather and Christmas near, the unlikeliest of friendships bloom among humans and animals alike. But how long can a runaway horse live undiscovered in Paris? And how long can a boy keep her hidden, and all his own? Jane Smiley’s beguiling new novel is itself an adventure that celebrates curiosity and ingenuity, and expresses the desire of all creatures for true friendship, love, and freedom.
Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and most recently, The Last Hundred Years Trilogy: Some Luck, Early Warning, and Golden Age. She is also the author of several works of nonfiction and books for young adults. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has also received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. She lives in Northern California.