The Depression that follows the 1929 stock market crash is emptying Paris of many American expatriates. Two exceptions are Dorothy and James T. Farrell, the naïve young couple who have fled their home in Chicago for the fabled liberation that Paris seems to offer.
In this telling account drawn from interviews, diaries, and letters home, Edgar Marquess Branch presents a composite view of the life of a young author yet to complete his masterpiece, Studs Lonigan. Set among the expatriate artists who defined their time, this human drama plays itself out in one short year in which the foreign and familiar are entwined.
Featuring such characters as Ezra Pound and Kay Boyle, A Paris Year traces the heartbreak and triumphs that the newlyweds experience as the young Farrell seeks his fame and fortune. Their Paris sojourn influenced the rest of their lives and left an imprint on American literature.
Edgar Marquess Branch is Research Professor Emeritus and Associate in American Literature at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He has written extensively on Mark Twain and James T. Farrell.
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In 1910 John Merven Carrère, a Paris-trained American architect, wrote, “Learning from Paris made Washington outstanding among American cities.” The five essays in Paris on the Potomac explore aspects of this influence on the artistic and architectural environment of Washington, D.C., which continued long after the well-known contributions of Peter Charles L’Enfant, the transplanted French military officer who designed the city’s plan.
Being “Dutch” in the Indies portrays Dutch colonial territories in Asia not as mere societies under foreign occupation but rather as a “Creole empire.” In telling the story of the Creole empire, the authors draw on government archives, newspapers, and literary works as well as genealogical studies that follow the fortunes of individual families over several generations. They also critically analyze theories relating to culturally and racially mixed communities.
“Fantasies to me, as I wrote in an earlier 1983 edition of American Fantasies, are the active, visionary links between reality and imagination as my characters pursue their destinies. Although we pretend to be a pragmatic, materialistic country, our fantasies, once suppressed by tradition, peer increasingly through the media into our private and public behavior.