A charming, funny, poignant collection of twenty-three letters from Marcel Proust to his upstairs neighbour
102 Boulevard Haussmann, an elegant address in Paris’s eighth arrondissement.
Upstairs lives Madame Williams, with her second husband and her harp. Downstairs lives Marcel Proust, trying to write In Search of Lost Time, but all too often distracted by the noise from upstairs.
Written by Proust to Madame Williams between the years 1909 and 1919, this precious discovery of letters reveals the comings and goings of a Paris building, as seen through Proust’s eyes. You’ll read of the effort required to live peacefully with annoying neighbours; of the sadness of losing friends in the war; of concerts and music and writing; and, above all, of a growing, touching friendship between two lonely souls.
‘Delightful. Big news for Proustians’ Daily Telegraph
‘If you have suffered from noisy neighbours, you will sympathize with Marcel Proust’ Times Literary Supplement
‘A haunting portrait of a friendship between two people who lived within earshot of one another, separated only by a few inches of plaster and floorboard, but who scarcely ever met’ New Statesman