Skip to product information
1 of 1

Diary of a Foreigner in Paris

Diary of a Foreigner in Paris

by Curzio Malaparte, translated from the Italian and the French by Stephen Twilley, with an introduction by Edmund White

Regular price $17.95
Regular price Sale price $17.95

In 1947 Curzio Malaparte returned to Paris for the first time in fourteen years. In between, he had been condemned by Mussolini to five years in exile and, on release, repeatedly imprisoned. In his intervals of freedom, he had been dispatched as a journalist to the Eastern Front, and though many of his reports from the bloodlands of Poland and Ukraine were censored, his experiences there became the basis for his unclassifiable postwar masterpiece and international bestseller, Kaputt. Now, returning to the one country that had always treated him well, the one country he had always loved, he was something of a star, albeit one that shines with a dusky and disturbing light.

The journal he kept while in Paris records a range of meetings with remarkable people—Jean Cocteau and a dourly unwelcoming Albert Camus among them—and is full of Malaparte’s characteristically barbed reflections on the temper of the time. It is a perfect model of ambiguous reserve as well as humorous self-exposure. There is, for example, Malaparte’s curious custom of sitting out at night and barking along with the neighborhood dogs—dogs, after all, were his only friends when in exile. The French find it puzzling, to say the least; when it comes to Switzerland, it is grounds for prosecution!

edmund white

Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681374161
Pages: 288
Publication Date:


[The original texts] present significant challenges in terms of grammar, lexis and style. All the translators were able to transfer beautifully and accurately the poetic tones, while retaining the content of the original texts.
—John Florio Prize Shortlist Citation, The Society of Authors

This gossipy, free-flowing diary is a chronicle of Paris in 1947, when, still shadowed by his fascist history, Malaparte rejoined the bohemian elite with renewed vigor. The startling, often comic results reveal an acid pen (and personality) that provoked the likes of Albert Camus and Jean Cocteau.
—James Tarmy, Bloomberg

Curzio Malaparte moved back and forth politically and professionally like a ping pong ball—a Tuscan from Prato, his philology, philosophy and friendships make him a perfect exemplar of the adage: 'Italy never ended a war on the same side on which she started.' To say the least, despite prison, wars and disputatious behavior, he was a survivor par excellence. He wrote fascinating novels, including Kaputt, and my personal favorite, The Skin. His Diary of a Foreigner in Paris is a self-conscious record of a man-against-the-world’s desperate denouement. Malaparte is a Man Apart—a writer like no other.
—Barry Gifford

Malaparte is discreet, urbane. His vision is Baroque, terrifying, unruffled.
—Edmund White, The New York Review of Books

View full details
  • Shopping for someone else but not sure what to give them? Give them the gift of choice with a New York Review Books Gift Card.

    Gift Cards 
  • A membership for yourself or as a gift for a special reader will promise a year of good reading.

    Join NYRB Classics Book Club 
  • Is there a book that you’d like to see back in print, or that you think we should consider for one of our series? Let us know!

    Tell us about it