Liza Klaussmann’s Villa America, a dazzling novel set in the French Riviera in the 1920s, is based on the lives of Sara and Gerald Murphy—the real-life inspirations for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night. Klaussmann does for Sara and Gerald Murphy what Paula McLain and Michael Cunningham did for Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf in The Paris Wife and The Hours. The Murphys' house, Villa America, was the site of legendary parties, the hub of an illustrious social circle, including Pablo Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Cole Porter, and many others. This is a stunning story about the Lost Generation, a marriage, secrets, and a golden age that could not last. While writing Villa America, Klaussmann says that she was “preoccupied . . . with the idea of exile—imposed, self-imposed, imaginary.”
Literary talent runs in Liza Klaussmann’s veins; she is the great-great-great-granddaughter of Herman Melville. Her 2012 debut novel, Tigers in Red Weather, was an international bestseller that earned her a British National Book Award, the Elle Grand Prix for Fiction, and Amazon UK’s Rising Star of the Year Award. After graduating from Andover and Barnard, Klaussmann worked for more than a decade as a journalist and spent ten years living in Paris. She currently lives in London.
During this festive summer evening, you can:
• Enjoy 1920s-era jazz music with the Texas Gypsies—bring your dance partner!
• Take a tour of works in the DMA’s collection by Gerald Murphy and artists who inspired him, as well as other works from that era.
• Hear actors read letters by Sara and Gerald Murphy and their circle of friends.
• Sip cocktails made from Gerald Murphy’s own recipes
• Come dressed in 1920s attire.
“Liza Klaussmann’s Villa America is so artful and compassionate that I couldn’t fail to love the Murphys and everyone who fell into their orbit during those Lost Generation years, all of them fascinating and flawed and human. This is a beautifully rendered story.” —Therese Anne Fowler, author of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald