Ed Van der Elsken initially put together a dummy of the text and images himself, but could not attract the interest of any publishing house. However, he succeeded with the British magazine Picture Post (the magazine that inspired him to start photography), which devoted a four-part series in 1954 to the imagery entitled "Why did Roberto leave Paris?". The editors felt it necessary to inform the reader that these were pictures not from a movie, but a "real-life story about people who do exist" because Ed work looked like still frames from a movie, the book was loaded with all sorts of cinematographic elements such as retrospectives and flashbacks of the main characters.
One of the protagonists was a Mexican young man Manuel (Picture Post used his real name Robert). So Manuel tells how in Paris he fell in love with the beautiful Ann (prototype of Vali Myers, dancer and artist whom Ed knew personally), who hangs out in bars in Saint Germain des Prés and dances wildly in the jazz cellars. However, it is unrequited love; for Ann, always surrounded by men, shows no interest in Manuel. After learning of her lesbian relationship with her girlfriend Geri, Manuel returns disappointed back to Mexico. At home, he receives a letter from Ann telling him that she and Geri have a venereal disease and that they suspect he also has it. She comforts him with the thought that now he really belongs to their "gang" of outsiders.