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Walk on By: A Celebration of Women’s Pleasure in Wandering a City

FLÂNEUSE

Illustrated. 317 pp. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27.

By Lauren Elkin

Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London

As a student in Paris, Lauren Elkin loved to wander aimlessly in the streets, but she needed to adapt the existing word for a person doing that, flâneur — an idle stroller, killing time — to fit her own case: feminine. But the feminine form, flâneuse, implied sitting decorously on benches rather than anything more vigorous

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