The Last Summer of the World

By Emily Mitchell
(W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393064872, 390pp.)

Publication Date: June 2007

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In the summer of 1918, with the Germans threatening Paris, Edward Steichen arrives in France to photograph the war for the American army. France is full of poignant memories: his early artistic successes, his marriage, the births of his two daughters. But as he takes up his first command, he learns that his wife Clara has filed suit against her friend, the painter Marion Beckett, charging that she was Steichen's lover in the summer before the war. Flying over the fields of France, Steichen struggles to understand what went wrong in his seemingly idyllic life. His search for answers takes him into his own complex past, toward a painful self-understanding and the discovery of new ways of seeing the world. Told with the elegance of Michael Cunningham's The Hours and the historical rendering of Colm Toibin's The Master, The Last Summer of the World captures the life and heart of a great photographer and of a world beset by war.

About the Author
Emily Mitchell's stories have been published in Harper s, Ploughshares, New England Review, and elsewhere. She teaches at the University of Maryland and is the author of the novel The Last Summer of the World.
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