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The Girl from Dream City: A Literary Life (Regina Collection #17)

The Girl from Dream City: A Literary Life (Regina Collection #17)

Current price: $18.95
Publication Date: April 10th, 2021
University of Regina Press
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Vivid stories from a Canadian literary icon, who shares a life spread across continents and immersed in books

It's the life that many young women dream of: education in some of Europe's most beautiful cities before becoming a novelist, essayist, translator and literary curator.

But the start of Linda Leith's journey is anything but idyllic. The daughter of a glamorous mother and a charming left-wing doctor, she is never told of her father's psychiatric breakdown or his subsequent shock therapy for what was then called manic depression.

As this secret festers, Leith's father uproots the family to various European cities as he reinvents himself as a corporate executive, eventually moving across the Atlantic to Montreal.

It's there, in her first year of university, that Leith is inspired by Madame de Sta l: a writer and salonni re, banished from Paris by Napoleon himself. With none of Sta l's advantages--no wealth, no social status, no ch teau on Lake Geneva--Leith can scarcely imagine a salon, but she is drawn to Paris, and dreams of becoming a writer.

This dream fuels her education in London, her marriage and writing in Budapest, and--finally--her journey back to Montreal where she meets a community of writers and readers who she works with to transform the city's literary scene.

As Leith publishes, translates, and curates, she also comes to terms with her troubled father and the secrets of her childhood.

A luscious read, this book will rivet readers of Jill Ker Conway's The Road from Coorain and Tara Westover's Educated, or anyone who has dreamed of building a cultural life.

About the Author

Born in Northern Ireland, Linda Leith attended schools in London, Basel, Belfast, Paris, and Montreal, graduating from the University of London, which granted her a PhD on the work of Samuel Beckett when she was twenty-four. A novelist, essayist, literary translator, founder of Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival and Linda Leith Publishing, and recipient of the Order of Canada, she lives in Montreal.