A Farewell in Paris
Kurt and Bill are expat Americans living in Paris after WWI. Kurt is working as a Berlin correspondent and Bill is a literary agent. Kurt is also writing a novel about his experiences as a soldier in the war. While Kurt works on his book, Bill falls for Kate, an American writer who is also living in Paris. Surrounding them are the intellectual lions of the time —Djuna Barnes, André Breton, Man Ray—as well as the lively lesbian enclave of the Left Bank. Kurt and Djuna fall in love, but as fascism starts to rise in Germany, he dies and his manuscript is incinerated with him, leaving friends broken on the edge of uncertain times. In this lively novel, Myers clearly demonstrates his familiarity with the intellectual culture of Paris in the 1920s. However, he seems less certain about the characters he's created. Although they inhabit a detailed world full of richly portrayed geniuses, they do little more than flatly predict the failure of the armistice and the rise of fascism. While Myers has a consummate understanding of his setting, he hasn't matched it with a compelling story.