In his latest book, Boston My Blissful Winter – Memories of the 1980s, retired French Diplomat Alain Briottet reflects on what it was like to settle in a new place through the eyes of characters one reviewer says, "were created through the eye of a portrait painter." The collection of 12 short stories follows a young French banker experiencing Boston for the first time as an intern at a downtown bank in the 1980s. Seeking to overcome his solitude, he visits the city's concert halls, jazz clubs, businesses, museums, cafes, theaters, antique shops, fine restaurants and local diners.
In one story, the protagonist spends an evening in a café people-watching through the window, commenting on the acquaintances he sees hurry by. In another, he visits Lowell, Massachusetts, during a year-long celebration of the city's favorite son, novelist and poet Jack Kerouac. During his travels, the narrator rubs elbows with members of Boston's upper class, academics, a struggling musician and a librarian, among others; and describes them to a tee through beautifully written prose.