THE PARIS BUREAU

How a Brooklyn Journalist Survived Jazz Age Paris With Help from Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and his Family.

A fascinating story about a rich literary period in the pre-world war two world.

-Evan Keeling, writer and award-winning artist

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THE PARIS BUREAU

How a Brooklyn Journalist Survived Jazz Age Paris With Help from Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and his Family.

The Paris Bureau tells the story of the storytellers. Drawing on the lively dispatches of a forgotten American correspondent and his family in Paris between the wars, it illuminates the expatriate “writing colony,” the wild adventures of a foreign journalist, the cultural revolutions of the Jazz Age, the rise of fascism, the birth of Modernism, and the ways that writers made sense of it all for their readers at home. It also brings to life the correspondent’s close friendship with a young “cub” journalist, Ernest Hemingway, then struggling to find his own way of writing fiction, and their eccentric mutual friend, the poet Ezra Pound. With this cast of characters, we tour the cabarets and bullfights, battlefields and back alleys, peace conferences and Nazi rallies. And through it all, we see how truth overlaps with fiction, and how writers find their voice and make their way in the world through their friendships, community, family, and by their own words.

Exert from The Paris Bureau:

"Sometimes, when things are broken, it is not possible to bind them back together. The pieces no longer fit: they've been deformed in the breaking, or even pulverized. Sometimes fragments get placed incorrectly, upside down or backwards. And sometimes the internal pressures that broke them apart have been let loose to seek out other centers of gravity. But, on occasion, there are new forms that emerge from the mosaic of broken bits, be they strange, beautiful, or monstrous. Certainly , very few of the world leaders, diplomats, and journalists who descended on Paris in 1919 held any hope that the social or political structures of Europe would be reconstructed and returned to what they were before the war. That moment had passed; an entire world lay buried in its passing. But what would the new world look like? What were the stories it would tell itself in order to make sense of the new order? Here the intentions of statesmen and newspapermen offered differed greatly, but they shared a desire to see the emerging realities as clearly as possible, hopefully before anyone else did.

 

And if Mary and Guy still had any hopes for a quiet domestic life, they were soon dashed on the rocks of Jazz Age Paris. They had been relocated to a strange outpost in a city that was going to soon become the cultural and literary mecca of whatever remained of the 'Western World'. They were there to assist the pilgrims and try to capture in writing what it was like to be in a time and place where life seemed to be happening all at once.

 

Guy had once told Mary 'I actually think sometimes that we are guided by a special provider just for us two, or else things wouldn't happen just as they do.' Finding themselves suddenly in charge of a major American newspaper bureau in post-war Paris, it surely seemed that way. In the coming years, though, Guy's theory was certainly going to be tested."

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Since receiving his Ph.D. in French History from the University at Buffalo, Rufus Hickok has worked as a freelance writer, DJ, cook, and a cleaner at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. This is his first book.

Rufus Hickok's account of Guy and Mary Hickok during the time they ran the Daily Brooklyn Eagle bureau adds significantly to the story of Paris-American journalism. I wish I had known about their efforts when I was writing my book.

-Ronald Weber, author of  News of Paris: American Journalists in the City of Light Between the Wars