The Letters of Sylvia Beach by Sylvia Beach

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Synopsis

Founder of the Left Bank bookstore Shakespeare and Company and the first publisher of James Joyce's Ulysses, Sylvia Beach had a legendary facility for nurturing literary talent. In this first collection of her letters, we witness Beach's day-to-day dealings as bookseller and publisher to expatriate Paris. Friends and clients include Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, H. D., Ezra Pound, Janet Flanner, William Carlos Williams, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, and Richard Wright. As librarian, publicist, publisher, and translator, Beach carved out a unique space for herself in English and French letters.

This collection reveals Beach's charm and resourcefulness, sharing her negotiations with Marianne Moore to place Joyce's work in The Dial; her battle to curb the piracy of Ulysses in the United States; her struggle to keep Shakespeare and Company afloat during the Depression; and her complicated affair with the French bookstore owner Adrienne Monnier. These letters also recount Beach's childhood in New Jersey; her work in Serbia with the American Red Cross; her internment in a German prison camp; and her friendship with a new generation of expatriates in the 1950s and 1960s. Beach was the consummate American in Paris and a tireless champion of the avant-garde. Her warmth and wit made the Rue de l'Odéon the heart of modernist Paris.

 

About Sylvia Beach

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Keri Walsh is assistant professor of English at Fordham University in New York.
 
Published June 1, 2010 by Columbia University Press. 376 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Letters of Sylvia Beach

The New York Times

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A new book examines the letters of Sylvia Beach, who founded Shakespeare & Company on the Left Bank of Paris and published Joyce’s “Ulysses.”

Apr 19 2010 | Read Full Review of The Letters of Sylvia Beach

The Guardian

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The upstairs neighbours constantly flood her premises, one of her sisters in the US is acting weird and, strange to say, some of her literary discoveries won't play nicely together.

Jul 30 2010 | Read Full Review of The Letters of Sylvia Beach

The Washington Times

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Once upon a time, there were a lot of Americans in Paris. We liked them and they - well, most of them - liked us. And one of us the French liked very much was an enterprising young woman named Sylvia Beach who, in 1919, opened a bookstore on the Left Bank and called it Shakespeare & Company.

Jul 30 2010 | Read Full Review of The Letters of Sylvia Beach

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