Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down

Rosecrans Baldwin

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A self-described Francophile from when he was little, Rosecrans Baldwin always dreamed of living in Paris—drinking le café, eating les croissants, walking in les jardins—so when an opportunity presented itself to work for an advertising agency in Paris, he couldn’t turn it down. Despite the fact that he had no experience in advertising. And despite the fact that he barely spoke French. After an unimaginable amount of red tape and bureaucracy, Rosecrans and his wife packed up their Brooklyn apartment and left the Big Apple for the City of Light. But when they arrived, things were not eactly what Rosecrans remembered from a family vacation when he was nine years old.

Paris, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down is a nimble comic account of observing the French capital from the inside out. It is an exploration of the Paris of Sarkozy, text-message romances, smoking bans, and a McDonald’s beneath the Louvre—the story of an American who arrives loving Paris all out of proportion, but finds life there to be completely unlike what he expected. Over eighteen months, Rosecrans must rely on his dogged American optimism to get him through some very unromantic situations—at work (writing booklets on how to breast-feed, raise, and nurture children), at home (trying to finish writing his first novel in an apartment surrounded on all sides by construction workers), and at every confusing French dinner party in between. An offbeat update to the expat canon, Paris, I Love You is a book about a young man finding his preconceptions replaced by the oddities of a vigorous, nervy city—which is just what he needs to fall in love with Paris for the second time.


Read an Excerpt

The sun above Paris was a mid-July clementine. I bought copies of Le Monde and the Herald Tribune at a kiosk and climbed the stairs to my new office on the Champs-Elysées. For three hours, I mugged at a laptop, trying to figure out how the e-mail system worked. My fingers were chattering. I spent long, spacey minutes trying to find the @ key. They’d given me a keyboard mapped for French speakers, with the letters switched around.
For the rest of the day, strangers approached and handed me folders, speaking to me in French while I panicked inside. A sentence



  • The Originals Series: Rosecrans Baldwin and Eleanor Friedberger

    David Rees hosted Rosecrans Baldwin, author of Paris I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down", and musical guest Eleanor Friedberger (The Fiery Furnaces). The show was held at Studio X in Manhattan, courtesy of Geoff Manaugh and BLDG BLOG.



Praise for Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down

“A charming entry into the expat canon, this book is Baldwin’s true story of moving to his favorite city in the world — favorite to the tune of obsession, mind you — and realizing it’s not quite as he had imagined.”—Emily Temple, Flavorwire

Baldwin proves that with the right attitude, everything in this perhaps most magically remembered of all cities is either beautiful, hilarious, or both, and his friendly voice and approachable style will grab those who want to be there and those who have never been.” — Annie Bostrom, Booklist

“A charming, hilarious account of la vie Parisienne as experienced by  an observant young American . . . his vivid impressions of Paris and its people (expats included) are most engaging. Great fun and surprisingly touching. Great fun and surprisingly touching.” —Kirkus (starred review)

Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down is a charming, hilarious, keenly-observed and surprisingly poignant journey into the Parisian state of mind. I read it late at night and kept waking up my wife because I was laughing out loud.” —Anthony Doerr, author of Memory Wall and Four Seasons in Rome


In the Press

Work in Progress » Blog Archive » Paris, I Love You, American-style
With his "charming, hilarious account of la vie Parisienne,” Paris, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down, about to hit bookstores, Rosecrans Baldwin set off on a two-week tour of U.S. towns (and one Vegas casino) named Paris.
- FSG's Work in Progress
Work in Progress » Blog Archive » Toby Barlow & Rosecrans Baldwin
Americans continue to visit Paris not just for Paris, but for 'Paris,'" Rosecrans Baldwin, author of Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down, wrote in an email. "As if out of some collective nostalgia for what Paris should be, more than what it is." He was writing to Toby Barlow, author of Sharp Teeth and, most recently, Babayaga
- FSG's Work in Progress

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Rosecrans Baldwin

  • Rosecrans Baldwin’s first novel, You Lost Me There, was named one of NPR’s Best Books of 2010, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and a Time and Entertainment Weekly Best Book of Summer 2010. He is a cofounder of the online magazine The Morning News.
  • Rosecrans Baldwin Susie Post-Rust
    Rosecrans Baldwin




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Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down

Rosecrans Baldwin