Mark Helprin

Mark Helprin belongs to no literary school, movement, tendency, or trend. As many have observed and as Time Magazine has phrased it, “He lights his own way.” His three collections of short stories (A Dove of the East and Other Stories, Ellis Island and Other Stories, and The Pacific and Other Stories), seven novels (Refiner’s Fire, Winter’s Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, Memoir From Antproof Case, Freddy and Fredericka, In Sunlight and in Shadow, and Paris in the Present Tense), and three children’s books (Swan Lake, A City in Winter, and The Veil of Snows, all illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg), speak eloquently . . . Learn more >

Paris in the Present Tense

Kirkus Reviews

“A masterpiece filled with compassion and humanity. Perfect for the pure pleasure of reading.”

A modern-day story of love, music, and death, with echoes of the Nazi retreat in World War II France.

Septuagenarian Jules Lacour is a widower and a cellist in agony after losing his wife, Jacqueline. His grandson, Luc, has leukemia and will die without treatments that neither Jules nor his daughter, Cathérine, can possibly afford. Stage fright has always prevented him from achieving fame and fortune, and he considers himself a failure. Though in terrific physical shape—he runs, he rows on the Seine—he wants to die and be with Jacqueline again, because “he himself did not need to live. It was Luc who needed to live.”
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