Arts & Letters Live: Liza Klaussmann
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 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.