Harper Academic

Villa Air-Bel

World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille

by Rosemary Sullivan

On Sale: 10/30/2007

Price: $17.99

Villa Air-Bel

Enlarge Book Cover

Villa Air-Bel

World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille

by Rosemary Sullivan

On Sale: 10/30/2007

Format:

Price: $17.99

About the Book

On August 15th, 1941, Varian Fry arrived in Marseille, France with enough clothing for a summer abroad, a list of two hundred people he was meant to rescue, letters of recommendation, and $3000 in cash taped to his leg. Chosen by the Emergency Rescue Committee, whose ranks included novelist Thomas Mann, Reinhold Niebuhr, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Upton Sinclair, Fry had been given the mission of saving the intellectual and artistic elite of Europe.

Fry, his collaborators, and the men and women they sought to protect spent a year hiding in a chateau called Villa Air-Bel in the suburbs of Marseille. Bestselling author Rosemary Sullivan draws from the diaries, memoirs, and letters of the residents of the chateau to reveal their private worlds and the web of relationships that developed. Villa Air-Bel is a beautifully written work about one of the most intriguing untold stories of the German occupation of France.

Rosemary Sullivan is an award-winning author, poet, biographer and literary critic. Her works include Labyrinth of Desire: Women, Passion and Romantic Obsession, The Red Shoes: Margaret Atwood Starting Out, Shadow Maker: The Life of Gwendolyn MacEwan, By Heart: Elizabeth Smart /A Life and The Garden Master: Style and Identity in the Poetry of Theodore Roethke. She is a professor of English at the University of Toronto.

“Sullivan has written a book of great detail and complexity, though one that is full of darkness.” — Quill & Quire

Critical Praise

“A moving and richly detailed account” - Boston Globe

“a moving tale of great sacrifice in tumultuous times.” - Publishers Weekly

“A complex tale showing how hope and courage flourish, even in the toxic soil of totalitarianism.” - Kirkus Reviews

“With tremendous suspense and emotional pull, Sullivan recounts the little-known story of Varian Fry” - Vogue

“Villa Air-Bel is a most welcome book, a triumph of the human spirit” - Philadelphia Inquirer

“Sullivan has written a book of great detail and complexity, though one that is full of darkness.” - Quill & Quire

“This is a magnificent, complex narrative of courage, folly, and complacency...a beautifully narrated book.” - Telegraph

“It’s history, it’s intrigue. It’s nonfiction. It’s a real page-turner.” - New York Magazine: Ask a Shop Clerk: Holiday Edition, Carol Wald

“Her scene-by-scene evocation of life at the house reads like an updated Chekhov comedy laced with horror.” - Financial Times

“[In Villa Air-Bel] stories are told with passion.” - The Advocate

“Sullivan brilliantly interweaves personal histories with terrifying tales” - Sunday Times (London)

“the style is beautifully clear and concise….Sullivan’s book should be mandatory reading.” - Irish Times

“Villa Air-Bel is a remarkable achievement” - National Post (Toronto)

“[Sullivan] manages to combine solid scholarship with a snappy writing style...a history book that is completely riveting” - Vancouver Sun

“Deft handling of a twisted plot with a large number of characters.” - The Forward

“She’s got style.” - Philadelphia Inquirer

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780060732516
  • ISBN 10: 0060732512
  • Imprint: Harper Perennial
  • On Sale: 10/30/2007
  • Trimsize: 5.313 in (w) x 8.000 in (h) x 1.117 in (d)
  • Pages: 496
  • List Price: $17.99
  • BISAC1 : HISTORY / General
  • BISAC2 : HISTORY / Jewish
  • BISAC3 : HISTORY / Holocaust