On November 17, 1919, American expatriate Sylvia Beach founded Shakespeare and Company at 8 rue Dupuytren in Paris. Later relocated to 12 rue de l'Odéon, her bookstore and lending-library served as a second home to Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Djuna Barnes, Gertrude Stein, Janet Flanner, Kay Boyle, Mina Loy, Man Ray, and, of course, James Joyce, whose Ulysses Beach published in 1922.

Celebrated by André Gide and Paul Valéry, and immortalized in Hemingway’s posthumous memoir A Moveable Feast, Shakespeare and Company gave Modernism not only a place but an address—a corner of the Left Bank that, as André Chamson remarked, “did more to link England, the United States, Ireland, and France than four great ambassadors combined.”

Shakespeare and Company closed in 1941, during the German occupation, when, as legend tells, Beach refused to sell her last copy of Finnegans Wake to a Nazi officer. Not a bad way to close up shop.

We’re here to celebrate the 96th anniversary of the opening of this historic literary space, to read our favorite passages from our favorite Shakespeare and Co. patrons, and to bring some of the flavor of postwar Paris to millennial Denver.