The only English language bookshop in Avignon is located in the eastern part of the walled-in city. Walk east for about a mile from the Popes's palace along the long and winding Carreterie street, past the derelict-looking church spire of the Augustinians, and you shall reach a lovely bookshop modestly hidden behind a garage type door, painted blue. It boast a rather large stock of books, both new and secondhand, a good ordering service, and a friendly manager.
Note : Mr Zuckerman recently sold his bookshop to a new and young bookseller ; we wish her the best of success).
Though Shakespeare Books is not officially related to George Whitman's Shakespeare & Co, Paris, Wolfgang Zuckermann 'followed the tradition of English bookshops in France, first started by Sylvia Beach in Paris 1919 with the original Shakespeare & Co'. He is more relaxed and friendly than was his counterpart opposite Notre Dame de Paris. ( I still rememberWhitman's anger when I refused to have my Penguin copy of Ulysse defaced by his rather large inkstamp ; nowadays Withman's daughter, named Sylvia in memory of the famous Mrs. Beach, runs the Paris show). Airy and built on a single level , Avignon's Shakespeare seems to offers less opportunity for kissing one's Valentine than the original Parisian maze of books. There is a tiny garden of sorts at the back, though, and Mr Zuckermann is willing to serve English cream tea and scones in the afternoon. (One might feel he his too much of a delightful character to bother him with menial chores, though.) His place is still redolent of that nostalgic atmosphere that most English-language bookshops aboard used to have. I'm sure you have visited at least one of those bookshops that seem to be open exclusively for the benefit of a handful of exiles, or at least, for people definitely not wishing they'd be home, but unable to cut their intellectual ties with the anglo-saxon world. Shakespeare Avignon could be anywhere nice and unexpensive, in Tangiers, Sienna, Obidos or Kathmandou ; anyplace were people that are not 'travellers' neither 'mass tourists' like to hang out. Follow their steps into that abode of great books, just to check that serious reading is better done under foreign skies. After all, is it not rather more pleasant to immerse oneself resolutely in a novel, if one knows for sure that excitement and novelty are around the corner ? ( photo at bottom from the bookshop's web site, http://shakespeare.bookshop.free.fr). PS : In the good old days, people were allowed to unroll their sleeping bags in the Paris Shakespeare. Should you need accomodation in Provence, don't forget we have rooms and studios to let in Avignon .
La librairie Shakespeare (Shakespeare Books) Avignon was founded in June 1994 by Wolfgang Zuckermann, author of five books and former owner of Zuckermann Harpsichords, New York. Though Shakespeare Books is not officially related to George Whitman's Shakespeare & Co, Paris, Wolfgang Zuckermann followed the tradition of English bookshops in France, first started by Sylvia Beach in Paris 1919 with the original Shakespeare & Co.