I shall never forget the faces of the men on the tug as we all smoked and waited for orders from our superiors. When they looked at me, it was with a softness I had never seen before in men, other than in my father’s eyes when I’d wake up in the middle of the night to find him standing over my bed with a candle.

– From The Secret Lives of People in Love, by Simon Van Booy


It is the afternoon of my birthday, but still the morning of my life. I am walking on the Pont des Arts. It is a small wooden bridge, and Americans sit in colorful knots drinking wine. Even though I’m only fifteen and have not had a girlfriend and such, I can tell who is in love with who when I look at people.

– From The Secret Lives of People in Love, by Simon Van Booy