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Book review: Paula McLain's The Paris Wife

By Laura Godfrey

A quick scan of my bookshelf at home might suggest a particular interest of mine: 1920s Paris, that unmistakable era when some of history’s greatest literary heavyweights and bohemian artists emerged. And although countless classic novels came of this time — The Great Gatsby, The Sun Also Rises — it’s the (many, many) memoirs that speak to me most, like real-life fairy tales for any aspiring writer.

From Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast to Morley Callaghan’s That Summer in Paris, Gertrude Stein’s Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, and John Glassco’s buoyant Memoirs of Montparnasse, it’s a topic that bears repeating from countless unique perspectives. If you were thinking about starting a book club with an ongoing theme, there’s certainly plenty of material here.

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