The Trunk

An anthology of short stories presented as a literary game.


Louis Vuitton and French publisher, Gallimard’s new literary project, The Trunk. For over a century, the Louis Vuitton family home in Asnières has been filled with the whispering of extraordinary stories of trunks, luggage and travel. In the early 1900s, Gaston-Louis Vuitton, the third of that name to build the famous trunk-maker’s reputation, and a passionate collector, constituted fabulous archives. Forty years later, 11 French writers have been given privileged access to this treasure. They have explored old photographs, newspaper cuttings, anecdotes and outrageous examples of customer relations. These lucky time travellers are:  Éliette Abécassis, Fabienne Berthaud, Marie Darrieussecq, Virginie Despentes, Nicolas d’Estienne d’Orves, Patrick Eudeline, David Foenkinos, Philippe Jaenada, Yann Moix, Véronique Ovaldé, and Bruno de Stabenrath.

For this special edition, Louis Vuitton opened the trunk full of memories to the finest living French authors, whose interests vary from travel to crime, to magic or inventions. Sensitive to the old-fashioned charms of the Belle Époque and the more glamorous post-war years, along with more recent tales of society life, they spirit us away on a journey through time and imagination.

One by one, these authors came to tea at the family home in Asnières before being led into the small room where Gaston-Louis Vuitton used to work. There, by the light of the same small lamp that lit the desk where these relics of the past still lie, they could immerse themselves in this world of leather and wood, yellowed paper and faded old photographs featuring Ernest Hemingway alongside Sacha Guitry and the Mona Lisa, whose now forgotten adventures made the headlines or inside pages of newspapers that have long since disappeared. These authors have brought them back to life. Each story starts out inside a trunk before developing into a full-blown literary journey –though the odd one might begin with a wonderful journey and end up inside a trunk.

Published by Les Éditions Gallimard in the “Hors série Littérature” collection, this collectors’ edition has been printed on pure thread 110g vellum paper by Darantière in Quetigny and traditionally bound in leather by Ateliers Babouot in Lagny-sur-Marne, France. It is available in an illustrated deluxe edition on sale at the Louis Vuitton store in Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, Holetown, St. James, Barbados.