Geniuses Together

Humphrey Carpenter
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ISBN 9780571249138 Format Paperback
Published 19/02/2009 Length 272 pages

About Book

In Humphrey Carpenter's own words, 'This is the story of the longest-ever literary party, which went on in Montparnasse, on the Left Bank, throughout the 1920s.'

'This book', to continue to quote Carpenter himself, 'is chiefly a collage of Left-Bank expatriate life as it was experienced by the Hemingway generation - "The Lost Generation", as Gertrude Stein named it in a famous remark to Hemingway.'

There are brief portraits of Gertrude Stein, Natalie Clifford Barney and Sylvia Beach, who moved to Paris before the First World War and provided vital introductions for the exiles of the 1920s. The main narrative, however, concerns the years 1921 to 1928 because these saw the arrival and departure of Hemingway and most of his Paris associates.

'He is a compelling guide, catching the kind of idiosyncratic detail or incident that holds the readers' attention and maintains a cracking pace. Anyone wanting an introduction to the constellation of talent that made the Left Bank in Paris during the Twenties a second Greenwich Village would find this a useful and inspiring book.' Times Educational Supplement

  • About Humphrey Carpenter

    Humphrey Carpenter was born and educated in Oxford, and attended the Dragon School and Keble College. He was a well-known biographer and children's writer, and worked previously as a producer at the BBC. He wrote biographies of J. R. R. Tolkien, W. H. Auden, Benjamin Britten, Ezra Pound, C. S. Lewis and Dennis Potter. Among his many books for children were the best-selling Mr Majeika series. He also wrote several plays for the theatre and radio. A keen musician, he was a member of a 1930s-style jazz band, Vile Bodies, which was resident at the Ritz Hotel in London for a number of years. He died in 2005.

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