Noël Riley Fitch is a biographer and historian of expatriate intellectuals in Paris in the first half of the 20th century. Every book Fitch has written has some connection with Paris and the artists who lived and worked there, including her biographies of Sylvia Beach, Anaïs Nin, and Julia Child.
In June 2011 Noël was awarded the prestigious Prix de la Tour Montparnasse literary award in France for the French translation of hers widely acclaimed 1983 book ‘Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation’. Her book Appetite for Life The Biography of Julia Child was written with Mrs. Child’s full cooperation and exclusive authorization. Publishers Weekly said the book is written 'warmly and compellingly’, and Kirkus Reviews called its details “exquisite” and the story “exhaustively researched, and charming.” Entertainment Weekly also named it number five of the ten best books of the year.
Noël recently retired from teaching writing and literature courses for the University of Southern California and the American University in Paris. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, Paris, and New York City.
A fun and eminently useful guide to the Montparnasse haunts that modernists frequented in the 20s. Of course, it'd be highly ethnocentric to only focus on American expatriates like Hemingway, etc., so the book is more international in scope. Designed to fit in your back pocket as you swing from the Dome down to the Closerie des Lilas.
It's a little dated (the author sometimes refers to food & drink prices and they are all given in francs!) but this slender volume gives a nice summary of the literary/artistic history of cafes in various Paris neighborhoods.