I’m Dying Laughing, The Humourist

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Christina Stead’s unforgettable final novel—a profound examination of love and radicalism during the McCarthy era In the wake of the Great Depression, Emily Wilkes, a young American journalist, travels to a Europe still scarred by World War I. During her crossing, she meets Stephen Howard, a charismatic and wealthy Communist who quickly converts Emily to his ideals when the two become lovers. Upon their return to the States, they marry and settle into a comfortable life in Hollywood as darlings of the American left. Emily shines as a screenwriter and novelist while Stephen dedicates himself to the Party line—but their radicalism soon finds them out of favor and retreating to Paris, where they tragically and bitterly unravel. Published posthumously by Christina Stead’s literary executor professor Ron Geering, I’m Dying Laughing is an unflinching look at political faith and romantic attachment.

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