A Waiter in Paris

A Waiter in Paris

Adventures in the Dark Heart of the City

Written by: Chisholm, Edward

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Inspired by George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London, A Waiter in Paris is a brilliant portrait of the underbelly of contemporary Paris through the eyes of a young waiter scraping out a living in the City of Light.

A waiter’s job is to deceive you. They want you to believe in a luxurious calm because on the other side of that door … is hell.

Edward Chisholm’s spellbinding memoir of his time as a Parisian waiter takes you below the surface of one of the most iconic cities in the world and right into its glorious underbelly. There, Chisholm inhabits a world of inhuman hours, snatched sleep, and dive bars. He scrapes by on coffee, bread, and cigarettes, often working under sadistic managers, for a wage so low he’s forced to fight his colleagues for tips. And these colleagues — thieves, narcissists, ex-Legionnaires, paperless immigrants, wannabe actors, and drug dealers — are the closest thing he has to family.

Waiting tables is physically demanding work, frequently humiliating, and incredibly competitive. But it doesn’t matter because you’re in Paris, the centre of the universe, and there’s nowhere else you’d rather be in the world.

Inspired by George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London, A Waiter in Paris is a brilliant portrait of the underbelly of contemporary Paris through the eyes of a young waiter scraping out a living in the City of Light.

A waiter’s job is to deceive you. They want you to believe in a luxurious calm because on the other side of that door … is hell.

Edward Chisholm’s spellbinding memoir of his time as a Parisian waiter takes you below the surface of one of the most iconic cities in the world and right into its glorious underbelly. There, Chisholm inhabits a world of inhuman hours, snatched sleep, and dive bars. He scrapes by on coffee, bread, and cigarettes, often working under sadistic managers, for a wage so low he’s forced to fight his colleagues for tips. And these colleagues — thieves, narcissists, ex-Legionnaires, paperless immigrants, wannabe actors, and drug dealers — are the closest thing he has to family.

Waiting tables is physically demanding work, frequently humiliating, and incredibly competitive. But it doesn’t matter because you’re in Paris, the centre of the universe, and there’s nowhere else you’d rather be in the world.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc — Aug 9, 2022
Specifications 384 pages | 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Written By

EDWARD CHISHOLM was born in Dorset, England, and moved to Paris in 2012 after graduating from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. A resident there for seven years, Chisholm spent the first four of them working all manner of low-paid jobs, from waiting and bar work to museum security and market hand, while trying to build a career as a writer. Now, Chisholm makes a living as a copywriter/pen for hire, with ambitions of writing novels. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Financial Times.

Written By

EDWARD CHISHOLM was born in Dorset, England, and moved to Paris in 2012 after graduating from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. A resident there for seven years, Chisholm spent the first four of them working all manner of low-paid jobs, from waiting and bar work to museum security and market hand, while trying to build a career as a writer. Now, Chisholm makes a living as a copywriter/pen for hire, with ambitions of writing novels. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Financial Times.

Chisholm renders the City of Light in vivid scenes of squalor and splendor … Bittersweet and enchanting, this serves as a potent look at the gritty underbelly of a glittering world.

” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A wonderful observer of people, of poverty, and of the French.

” —Simon Kuper

Visceral and unbelievably compelling.

” —Emerald Fennell

Vividly written and merciless in its detail.

” —Edward Stourton

Propulsive, harrowing, and expertly observed. I could practically smell the grease and feel his terror and — ironically — his hunger. I don’t think I’ll dine out in quite the same way again.

” —Pamela Druckerman