Monday, January 21, 2013

That Summer in Paris

Morley Callaghan

I recently stumbled upon the book That Summer in Paris, by Canadian literary icon Morley Callaghan. It’s a series of memoirs chronicling his time in 1920s Paris, France, as a member of the Lost Generation. The book was originally published in 1963, a number of years after Callaghan and his wife Loretta had left Paris and returned to their hometown of Toronto. Callaghan adopts a reflective style of writing, and the book is wrapped in a sense of nostalgia. He reminisces about his time spent meeting other famous artists, such as James Joyce and Ford Madox Ford. However, the majority of the book revolves around the fluctuating relationship between Callaghan, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Callaghan travelled to Paris under the impression that once he was there the three literary giants would become inseparable companions. However, bound by uncompromising egos and jealous rivalries, Callaghan ends up narrating the event which tears them all apart. He reveals the all-too-human flaws in the legendary authors whose works gave voice to a generation. I would highly recommend this book for fans of Callaghan, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald, or for fans of 1920s Paris.

-  Andrew Cruickshank

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