I'm Dying Laughing: The Humourist

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Open Road Media, Oct 23, 2012 - Fiction - 447 pages
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Christina Stead’s unforgettable final novel—a profound examination of love and radicalism during the McCarthy era

In the wake of the Great Depression, Emily Wilkes, a young American journalist, travels to a Europe still scarred by World War I. During her crossing, she meets Stephen Howard, a charismatic and wealthy Communist who quickly converts Emily to his ideals when the two become lovers. Upon their return to the States, they marry and settle into a comfortable life in Hollywood as darlings of the American left. Emily shines as a screenwriter and novelist while Stephen dedicates himself to the Party line—but their radicalism soon finds them out of favor and retreating to Paris, where they tragically and bitterly unravel. Published posthumously by Christina Stead’s literary executor professor Ron Geering, I’m Dying Laughing is an unflinching look at political faith and romantic attachment.
 

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I'm dying laughing: the humourist

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This posthumously revised novel is dated and flawed, but it provides insight into Stead's view on the political and social climate in the United States, 1930-1960, and on the destructive forces acting ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
Part
HOW IT BEGAN 1935
LOVE STORY
MARRIAGE
UNO 1945
THE HOLINSHED PARTY
THE STRAIGHTENING
TWO LISTS
LANDING PARTY
SETTLING
COMRADE VITTORIO
ANNAS VISIT
SUBJECT FOR EMILY
TRIPS
MONEYMAKING

AFTER THE PARTY
BACK EAST
THE MAGIC REFUGEE
ANNAS BIRTHDAY
PART
THE STRUGGLE FOR CHRISTY
RESCUE AND RECANTATION
TRIAL AND EXECUTION
STEPHEN RETURNS
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Christina Stead (1902–1983) was an Australian writer regarded as one of the twentieth century’s master novelists. Stead spent most of her writing life in Europe and the United States, and her varied residences acted as the settings for a number of her novels. She is best known for The Man Who Loved Children (1940), which was praised by author Jonathan Franzen as a “crazy, gorgeous family novel” and “one of the great literary achievements of the twentieth century.” Stead died in her native Australia in 1983. 

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