The New York Times
The Letters of Sylvia Beachby Sylvia Beach
Founder of the Left Bank bookstore Shakespeare and Company and the first publisher of James Joyce's Ulysses, Sylvia Beach was a legendary nurturer of literary talent. In this first collection of her letters, we witness Beach's day-to-day dealings as bookseller and publisher to expatriate Paris. Her friends and patrons included Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude/i>… See more details below
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Founder of the Left Bank bookstore Shakespeare and Company and the first publisher of James Joyce's Ulysses, Sylvia Beach was a legendary nurturer of literary talent. In this first collection of her letters, we witness Beach's day-to-day dealings as bookseller and publisher to expatriate Paris. Her friends and patrons included Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, H. D., Ezra Pound, Janet Flanner, William Carlos Williams, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, and Richard Wright. As a librarian, publicist, publisher, and translator, Beach carved out a unique space for herself in English and French letters. She negotiated with Marianne Moore to place Joyce's work in The Dial, she battled the piracy of Ulysses in the United States, and she struggled to keep Shakespeare and Company afloat during the Depression. These letters shed new light on Beach's childhood in New Jersey; her work in Serbia with the American Red Cross; her internment in a German prison camp; her relationship with French bookstore owner Adrienne Monnier; and her friendship with a new generation of expatriates in the 1950s and 1960s. A consummate American in Paris and a tireless champion of the avant-garde, Beach's warmth and wit made the Rue de l'Odéon the heart of modernist Paris.
Columbia University Press
The 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.'
The consummate portrait of an incredible woman.
Keri Walsh has produced a commendable work.
With The Letters of Sylvia Beach... we now have an unvarnished view of life from the bookshop floor.
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.
Beach is an entertaining companion, a wonderful person to spend time with... readers...will be quick to celebrate this editorial achievement.
Robert J. Wiersema
Keri Walsh's compact and revealing volume introduces Beach as a character's character
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.
- Columbia University Press
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What People are saying about this
This finely wrought collection of The Letters of Sylvia Beach makes one grateful that those who fashioned modernism also took time to write letters. In the case of Sylvia Beach, hers document not just the expected-her role in bringing forth and defending James Joyce's Ulysses and her creation of an extraordinary lending library where expatriates converged. Here too is the everyday, recorded for 'Dearest Little Mother,' or shared with her love, Adrienne Monnier. We experience the advice of a well-grounded common reader and the strange encounters of an intrepid new woman, who found her way to Serbia in the wake of World War I and through occupied Paris during World War II. Keri Walsh has expertly tapped into this archive, lending accessibility with concise notes and identifications of correspondents. In this volume, both the times and the woman take on new life.
Bonnie Kime Scott, San Diego State University, editor of Selected Letters of Rebecca West
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