Lindsey Tramuta is a Paris-based journalist and author who moved from Philadelphia to Paris over a decade ago. In addition to writing for web and print publications such as The New York Times, Conde Nast Travel, Bon Appétit and Travel & Leisure (to name a few) Lindsey also runs a blog (Lost in Cheeseland) and has published two books The New Paris and most recently The New Parisienne that shares an inside look into the lives of some Paris’ most inspiring women.
First of all, you moved from Philadelphia to Paris over a decade ago. During your time in Paris what has been the best part about living in your adopted city?
With every passing year (it has now been 14!), I feel more and more connected to both the people and history of France. That perpetual learning experience and the deepening of my understanding of the country and how it operates is incredibly enriching.
Since moving to Paris you’ve written for well known publications such as The New York Times, Conde Nast Travel and Bon Appétit just to name a few. Did you always know that you wanted to write for a living, and what was it like when you saw your first piece in print?
I didn’t! I don’t want to say that I fell into it because it was much more deliberate than that but I had always assumed it wasn’t a viable career path, given that I had never been part of a newsroom or editorial team in-house at a publication. What I discovered was that storytelling and a unique point of view were, first and foremost, key to breaking in sheer perseverance! I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment the first time I saw my byline in a print edition of The New York Times and then, more recently, hearing my name on NPR. Nothing is guaranteed, so I try to savor the little successes.
What was it like going from writing about the city of Paris in your first book The New Paris, to writing about some of the cities most influential women?
The transition was quite natural. Considering the evolutions the city has experienced in the last decade, it’s largely due to the people and their ideas. When I thought about another way to analyze the changing city, I instantly landed on its women because their story is equally as incomplete as the one we’re presented with time and again about Paris.
The New Parisienne features more than 40 activists, creators, educators, visionaries, and disruptors—such as Leïla Slimani, Lauren Bastide, and Mayor Anne Hidalgo. How did you select which influential Parisienne women to highlight in the book?
It wasn’t an easy task! I began by evaluating the women in my inner and outer circle whose work I respected and admired and whose stories would be important to highlight. From there, I looked at the women whose work I had been following for years and who are contributing in concrete ways to the city’s future. Finally, I sought recommendations from fellow journalists and even the women I interviewed. Overall, the goal was to highlight women from a multitude of backgrounds and professions.
What did you enjoy the most about sharing the stories of the women included in The New Parisienne?
Every story challenged me and my thinking in some way, so the process of sharing these stories has been edifying. They have made me feel even more connected to and respectful of the city’s past, present, and future.
In the book you share some of your favorite destinations and women-owned businesses. If you had to describe the perfect day in Paris where you only visited women-owned shops, venues, bistros etc. What would that day look like?
I would start with coffee at Belleville Brûlerie, where Mihaela Lordache is the head roaster, a late breakfast at Mokonuts, a stroll around the Palais Royal where I love to sit and read for hours, a stop into The Red Wheelbarrow bookstore to check out new releases, an afternoon pilates class at Reformation, a little sweet snack at Bontemps Pâtisserie, and perhaps an apéritif that spills into the evening at Pompette.
If you had to describe the new Parisienne woman in one word, what would it be?
How closely did you work with Joann Pai who photographed the images for the book?
She is one of my closest friends so we worked very closely! I attended many of the portrait shoots but we had countless planning meetings, discussions about the look and feel of the book, angles, shots of Paris that we wanted to include, and how best to convey the message of the book, visually. She was a dream partner!
Do you read readers comments on your books and if so, what do you enjoy about reading their feedback?
Absolutely. Knowing what my work has meant to a reader is crucial motivation. Whether they learned something new or felt touched in some way — it’s all part of this experience. And if they didn’t enjoy something (and they tell me constructively!), I’m open to that too.
Are you currently working on your third book, or do you plan to write another book in future?
I have some ideas but nothing set in stone– I’m trying to get better about letting the universe guide me! But I do hope that involves another book.