The Letters of Sylvia Beach

Sylvia Beach. Edited by Keri Walsh. Foreword by Noël Riley Fitch

Columbia University Press

The Letters of Sylvia Beach

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Pub Date: December 2011

ISBN: 9780231145374

376 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $24.95£19.95

Pub Date: April 2010

ISBN: 9780231145367

376 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $50.00£41.95

Pub Date: April 2010

ISBN: 9780231517843

376 Pages

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List Price: $23.99£19.95

The Letters of Sylvia Beach

Sylvia Beach. Edited by Keri Walsh. Foreword by Noël Riley Fitch

Columbia University Press

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.
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, Bookforum
Reveal[s] the difficulties faced head on by this patron saint of independent booksellers who altered the course of expression in print. Publishers Weekly
Academics and students interested in literary culture, especially of writers of the Lost Generation, will find this book valuable. Library Journal
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, New York Times
The consummate portrait of an incredible woman. Robert J. Wiersema, The Vancouver Sun
Keri Walsh has produced a commendable work. Diane Leach, Pop Matters
With The Letters of Sylvia Beach... we now have an unvarnished view of life from the bookshop floor. John Palattella, The Nation
Keri Walsh's compact and revealing volume introduces Beach as a character's character New Criterion
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. David Emblidge, Publishing Research Quarterly
Beach is an entertaining companion, a wonderful person to spend time with... readers...will be quick to celebrate this editorial achievement. Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada
List of Illustrations
Preface by Noel Riley Fitch
Acknowledgments
Introduction
References
Chronology
THE 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. Legacies
Appendix 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
Web Features

About the Author

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