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Acclaimed Brooklyn-born author, descendent of Herman Melville, releases second novel, ‘Villa America’

September 11, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Liza Klaussmann’s new novel, “Villa America,” was released this past August. Photo by Elizabeth Zeschin
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Literary talent runs in Liza Klaussmann’s veins; the Brooklyn-born great-great-great-granddaughter of Herman Melville received heaps of praise for her 2012 debut novel “Tigers in Red Weather.” Ron Charles of The Washington Post called the book “Exceedingly clever… An elegant playbook on passive aggression, a study of the desires and resentments that burn away souls behind teeth-clenched smiles… Klaussmann is a master at unexpressed despair.”

Now, Klaussmann returns with a novel set in the Cap D’Antibes based on the real-life inspirations for Fitzgerald’s “Tender is The Night,” with “Villa America” (Little, Brown and Company.)

In this affecting story, 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.” Villa America was in fact a real house on the French Riviera that Sara and Gerald Murphy built to escape to in the 1920s. Members of a group of expat Americans, they were known for their fabulous parties and for making the Riviera into the glamorous place it is today. Their freewheeling days were filled with champagne and caviar, but these were people who kept secrets and who were, of course, heartbreakingly human.

This is a stunning story about the Lost Generation, about a marriage and about a golden age that could not last.

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