New York Times writer Elaine Sciolino’s book, The Seine: The River That Made Paris, explores the famous river “through its rich history and lively characters: a bargewoman, a riverbank bookseller, a houseboat dweller, a famous cinematographer known for capturing the river’s light.”
The Seine weaves its way through Paris and the daily lives of people in the city. The river gets its name from Sequana, the Gallo-Roman healing goddess. Sciolino discovers the river in art, literature, music and movies and shares those stories throughout her book.
Siolino was finishing the book when the devastating fire occurred at Notre-Dame in April 2019. The Seine once again played an important role in Parisian life as water was pumped from the river to extinguish the fire. The Paris fire department estimates that half of the water used to fight the fire came from the river. “The water of the Seine saved Notre-Dame,” General Gallet said. The dramatic story about the role that the river played in saving this historic landmark was recounted as an afterword in Sciolino’s book.
“The Seine offers a love letter to Paris and the most romantic river in the world, and invites readers to explore its magic for themselves.”