Book chapters, Voluntary Exiles: British Novelists in Hollywood, 1935-65


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Voluntary Exiles examines the life of work of British novelists working in Hollywood in the middle decades of the twentieth century through the lens of literary and film history, memoir, and the travel narrative. In many ways, the British experience in Southern California is an extension of the anxious wandering that followed immediately after World War I and of literary modernism. Hollywood was tantalizing, and rich, blindly confident and seemingly untouched by the devastation of world war that made Europe and England seemed tired, resigned, and without possibility. The movies and Hollywood became emblematic of America itself. These writers' observations of the "industry," the landscape, and the way of life are almost ethnographic as they try to understand the vastness of America, its bumptious self-assuredness, the blithe belief of its inhabitants in the ability to remake themselves and start afresh, and the impact of all of this on the rest of the world as these qualities are broadcast through the glamorous medium of the movies.


American Film Studies | American Studies | English Language and Literature | Literature in English, British Isles

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