Working at Librairie Gallimard

I wish I could remember the name of the main manager of the bookstore, he was old and expansive and would sit in the office smoking cigars and doing paperwork, perhaps even reading manuscripts now that I think of it. Then there was the under-manager, M. Paul, a neoliberal type. Every morning after Giscard was on tv he would be there early saying allez les gars … meaning that employee Gilles, the only man without some management position, should go up the ladder into the attic and bring down extra copies of the book in question. Fuentes’ Terra Nostra came out in French that summer and we had piles of it. I hadn’t read it but developed a spiel about it that impressed people, so I was stood by it to sell more of it.


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