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The Last Summer of the World: A Novel

The Last Summer of the World: A Novel
Author: Emily Mitchell
ISBN 13: 9780393331943
ISBN 10: 393331946
Edition: Reprint
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: 2008-07-17
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400
List Price: $14.95

"Absorbing....Mitchell's novel [is] the real thing."—Boston Globe

Alicia Korenman - Library Journal

Mitchell presents a bittersweet first novel about famed photographer Edward Steichen and his experiences as an aerial photographer in France during World War I. While witnessing the horrors of war, Steichen remembers his earlier life in Europe and tries to understand the dissolution of his marriage. The flashbacks are framed by some of his early photographs, at times an awkward device, but on the whole Mitchell's prose is engaging and spirited. Perhaps owing to this stratagem, Steichen's celebrity circle is downplayed; the sculptor Rodin merits several scenes, but brother-in-law Carl Sandburg gets only the briefest allusions. Of course, Steichen himself along with his complicated past is the heart of the story. Mitchell, who has taught at Brooklyn College and Lehman College and published works in the Nation, the Indiana Review, and other journals, has written a striking novel highlighting the rich experiences of artists in Europe in the early 1900s and the inner life of a conflicted individual. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.