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The Letters of Sylvia Beach

Overview

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, ...

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The Letters of Sylvia Beach

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Overview

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.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Dwight Garner

This lovely book, scholarly and well annotated, is a pleasure to hold. It documents what Beach once called 'my missionary endeavor' and also what she called, correctly, her 'interesting life.'

The Vancouver Sun - Robert J. Wiersema

The consummate portrait of an incredible woman.

Pop Matters - Diane Leach

Keri Walsh has produced a commendable work.

The Nation - John Palattella

With The Letters of Sylvia Beach... we now have an unvarnished view of life from the bookshop floor.

Publishing Research Quarterly - David Emblidge

Beach's letters are crisp, detailed, patient, and articulate. Editor Walsh's meticulously orchestrated scholarly apparatus--footnotes, appendices, glossary, and index--all work well to enhance the material.

New York Times
This lovely book, scholarly and well annotated, is a pleasure to hold. It documents what Beach once called 'my missionary endeavor' and also what she called, correctly, her 'interesting life.'

— Dwight Garner

The Vancouver Sun
The consummate portrait of an incredible woman.

— Robert J. Wiersema

Pop Matters
Keri Walsh has produced a commendable work.

— Diane Leach

The Nation
With The Letters of Sylvia Beach... we now have an unvarnished view of life from the bookshop floor.

— John Palattella

New Criterion

Keri Walsh's compact and revealing volume introduces Beach as a character's character

Bookforum - Matthew Price

The patron saint of independent booksellers everywhere and the spunky proprietress of Shakespeare and Company, the famed Left Bank bookshop, Beach was a one-woman clearinghouse for literary modernism, 'a culture hero of the avant-garde,' as Keri Walsh writes in her fine introduction to this collection.... Beach was an animated correspondent.

Bookforum
The patron saint of independent booksellers everywhere and the spunky proprietress of Shakespeare and Company, the famed Left Bank bookshop, Beach was a one-woman clearinghouse for literary modernism, 'a culture hero of the avant-garde,' as Keri Walsh writes in her fine introduction to this collection.... Beach was an animated correspondent.

— Matthew Price

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231145374
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 11/29/2011
  • Pages: 376
  • Sales rank: 1,013,501
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Keri Walsh is assistant professor of English at Fordham University in New York.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsPreface by Noel Riley FitchAcknowledgmentsIntroductionReferencesChronologyTHE LETTERS OF SYLVIA BEACH I. Friendship and Travel II. World War I III. Shakespeare and Company: Expatriates IV. Shakespeare and Company: 1930s V. Postwar VI. Old Friends and True VII. LegaciesAppendix 1. Morrill Cody's Article on Shakespeare and Company for Publishers Weekly (April 12, 1924) Appendix 2. Beach's Letter of Protest against the Pirating of Ulysses (February 2, 1927) Appendix 3. Beach's Unsent Letter to James Joyce (April 12, 1927) Appendix 4. Beach's Speech for the Institut Radiophonique d'Extension Universitaire (May 24, 1927) Glossary of Correspondents Index

Columbia University Press

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