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book luminaries, Insights

Sylvia Beach and the Famous Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore in Paris

Sylvia was a free spirit and feminist, but she usually referred to herself as a “booklegger”. A native of New Jersey, she arrived in Paris during World War One. Eventually, she opened an English bookstore across from her mentor and partner, Adrienne Monnier in Montparnasse. Her store soon became a landmark for the bohemian set. She published the controversial book “Ulysses”, by James Joyce. The book was banned in several countries. This only increased its sales. Many literary luminaries frequented her store like, Ernest Hemingway, Ford M. Ford, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce. Sylvia had to close her store in 1941 when the Nazis occupied France. Nevertheless, she stayed in Paris and remained a literary treasure beloved by her adopted country. Read more about Sylvia Beach and other literary types in “The Reluctant Soldier.”

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