Troubador Taxi Tales from Paris

Released: 28/01/2020

ISBN: 9781838592370

eISBN: 9781838597207

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Taxi Tales from Paris


“A collection of exchanges - as surprising as they are interesting - between British author Nicky Gentil and some of the cabdrivers who have crossed her path. You will have a great time reading this book!”
Taxi G7 Magazine, Paris

Taxi Tales From Paris is not your typical account of what happens when you move to another country. Nicky Gentil’s memoir offers the reader a truly original insight into life in the French capital because, as the title suggests, everything is seen through the prism of her most memorable taxi rides taken during the thirty years she has lived there. 

Hugely entertaining, with some delightful comic touches, Gentil’s tales cover a wide variety of subjects such as her love of her adoptive country, the cultural differences she frequently encounters, the joys of parenthood, or indeed her ever-present passion for jazz, to quote but a few examples.  

By the end of this book, as with any memoir set in the City of Light, you will immediately want to leap on board the next Eurostar going but, on this occasion, with one very specific aim in mind: to jump – upon arriving in Paris – into the very first taxi you see! 

One of the many things I love about publishing a book is the subsequent trip it takes you on, as if the book itself begins to write its own story. All sorts of wonderful things happen such as my waking up one morning this week to receive this amazing message: "Thank you for sharing your experiences. This is a valuable piece of literature for us piano technicians." These comments came from an American piano tuner who is currently reviewing my book for the Piano Technicians Journal.

In France, the 21st June is National Music Day (Fete de la Musique) and, to celebrate it, I shall be playing jazz and giving a talk on my book in WH Smiths of Paris, located just near the majestic Place de la Concorde. When first I moved to Paris, some thirty years ago, this shop was my regular source of English books and newspapers. Never in a million years, though, would I have thought, back then, that one day I might actually find myself presenting my own book there! But as I said, publishing a book seems to be but the mere beginning of one truly exciting trip and book presentations are all part of it!!

On 23rd November, I shall be giving a talk on my book and bringing some of the scenes to life on the piano at the Nantwich bookshop in the town where I grew up. It's really quite amazing to be going back there in my capacity as an author!

Hello? Taxi tales from Paris; isn't this a tad remote; thought I? How wrong I was. Nicky Gentil weaves a beautiful picture of humanity in the raw. She draws the reader into her tales; which portray all of life's foibles and absurdities.

This is a very poignant and emotional book; mixed with a generous dose of joy and wonder. There are tales with a Psychology twist, (English and French). A travelogue; a witty update on previous encounters; and an all-round tour through the very essence of Paris; through the eyes of a newbie who came to stay.

Now I am eager for book 3 and I really really need to hear her play some Jazz.........................................

by Paul Jenkins

Nicky Gentil

In 1988, fresh out of Oxford University with a degree in French and German, Nicky Gentil moved to Paris to pursue a career in translation.

Some twenty years later - having acquired a husband and two children along the way! - she took up jazz improvisation on the piano, rapidly discovering a great passion for it, so much so that, in 2016, she published a book on the subject. Her first published work, LA JAZZ-GIRL PASSIONNEE ET SON DEVOUE ACCORDEUR (Editions Beaurepaire), is a light-hearted, feel-good account of her unexpected road to jazz.

The book received an overwhelmingly positive response at France's 2016 EuroPiano Congress. Consequently, at the suggestion of the English-speaking attendees and in light of numerous requests from family and friends in the UK, she translated her work into English. It was published in March 2018 under the title THE JAZZ-GIRL, THE PIANO, AND THE DEDICATED TUNER (Matador Publishing).

In October of that same year, she also published PETITS DIALOGUES EN TAXI (Editions Beaurepaire) - a collection of around thirty tales recounting some of her more memorable cab rides since moving to France - in celebration of her thirtieth anniversary in the capital.

TAXI TALES FROM PARIS is the English version of that work.

Today, Nicky Gentil divides her time between her writing, translating her writing and her various musical activities.

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