Thu, 09 Mar 2023 19:30 - 20:30

Nancy Cunard, Jazz Age Icon

Nancy Cunard, writer, heiress and political activist, was an icon of the Jazz Age, who was said to have inspired half the poets and novelists of the twenties. 

Rebelling against expectations to pursue a life in the arts, she moved between the glamourous cafes and artistic circles of London and Paris, reading widely, writing poetry, campaigning for civil rights and fighting fascism. Her Paris life - the focus of Anne de Courcy’s glorious new biography - was filled with art, sex and alcohol. Mina Loy wrote poems to her; Constantin Brâncuși sculpted her; Man Ray photographed her; she played tennis with Ernest Hemingway and had love affairs with, amongst others, Ezra Pound, Aldous Huxley, Louis Aragon and jazz musician Henry Crowder, with whom she ran a printing press. 

In partnership with The American Library in Paris and in conversation with their head of cultural programming, Alice McCrum, de Courcy discusses Five Love Affairs and a Friendship, a tempestuous tale of passion and intrigue, which is as much a portrait of twenties Paris as it is the story of an extraordinary woman who defined her age.

Anne de Courcy is the author of fourteen widely acclaimed works of social history and biography, including, Chanel’s RivieraThe Husband HuntersThe Fishing FleetThe Viceroy's Daughters and Debs at War. In the 1970s she was Woman’s Editor on the London Evening News and in the 1980s she was a regular feature-writer for the Evening Standard

Alice McCrum is the head of cultural programming at The American Library in Paris. She also studies at Sciences Po, and co-hosts a podcast at Shakespeare and Company.

The American Library in Paris was established in 1920 and is now the largest English-language lending library on the European continent. Promoting knowledge, inspiring lifelong learning, and creating a sense of community, it is a welcoming home for the thoughtful and curious in Paris.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Five Love Affairs and a Friendship by Anne de Courcy is available to buy from our partner bookshop Hatchards.

N.B. This event will take place in person at The London Library and will be livestreamed. If you are joining us in person, please see our  Event Access and COVID Guidelines before you arrive. Doors (and the bar) open at 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start. The livestream will begin on YouTube from 7.30pm and will be available to watch live or at any time after the event, using the same link. 

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