She wound up at La Rotonde, the place Aunt Nora used to talk about, the place if Fiona remembered right, where Ranko Novak lost his mind. Or was it Modigliani? In any case, she sat inside where it was warm, and she ordered soup à l’oignon gratinée and wished she weren’t surrounded by so many English-speakers. There was no scruffy, drunk artists, no absinthe-drinking models, no great expat poets.
Well, how would she know? Maybe that table in the corner was full of them.
She’d asked Nora once if she ever met Hemingway, and Nora had said, “If I did, he didn’t make an impression.”
from The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (2018). Very Highly Recommended.