About The Seine: The River that Made Paris
Traveling from the source of the Seine on a remote plateau of Burgundy to the estuary where its waters meet the sea, and to the cities, towns, islands, ports, and bridges in between, Sciolino tells the story of the Seine. Her use of the river’s rich history, mythology, eminence in art, literature, and film make this a beguiling journey. Through this landscape, she weaves the lively characters of Paris's most famous river—a barge woman, a riverbank bookseller, a houseboat dweller, a famous cameraman known for capturing the river’s light. Elaine patrols with river police, rows with a restorer of antique boats, sips champagne at a vineyard along the river and even dares to swim in the waters of the Seine, inviting readers along with each step.
Full of lively anecdotes and historical detail, The Seine is a compelling story of how a river brings a city to life. The book and its namesake both enchant and remind us of how necessary this river is to Paris and to those other towns and cities along the river. The story will answer why filmmakers and photographers, painters and writers have made it their own.
About Elaine Sciolino
Elaine Sciolino is a contributing writer and former Paris bureau chief for The New York Times, based in France since 2002. In 2010, Sciolino was decorated chevalier of the Legion of Honor, the highest honor of the French state, for her “special contribution” to the friendship between France and the United States. In 2019, Sciolino became a member of the Advisory Board of Reporters Without Borders, the Paris-based international advocacy organization promoting freedom of information and freedom of the press. In 2018, she received an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from the University of London.
Born in Buffalo, New York, she graduated summa cum laude from Canisius College and received a master’s degree in French History from New York University. She also holds honorary doctorate degrees from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Canisius College, and Dowling College. She is one of the only American members of Femmes Forum, a Paris-based private club of 200 of the leading women of France.
A soulful, transformative voyage along the body of water that defines the City of Light. Elaine Sciolino is the perfect guide to the world’s most romantic river.– Lauren Collins, Paris staff writer, The New Yorker
This beautifully written and deeply personal book captures something profound, not just about the Seine and France, but about people’s lives, and how important rivers are to them. We are called to find both solace and pleasure in bodies of water, and so we find them in this lovely exploration of the river at the heart of France. Elaine Sciolino writes with the authority of a historian, the sleuthing skills of a journalist, and the voice of a storyteller eager to recount the tales of those who have been touched by the Seine.- David Bell, Lapidus Professor of History at Princeton