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Trevanian News

Announcing Trevanian's latest novel
The Crazyladies of Pearl Street
is out now

Crown publishers is also re-issuing the first five of Trevanian's earlier novels in their
Summer of Trevanian

Trevanian's Works/Street of the Four Winds

Download Street of the Four Winds

Trevanian writes. 'One afternoon some years ago I was in a tetchy, hard to please mood, and I craved 'the perfect book' to read: something rich, long, sustaining, and amusing that could carry me through a month or so of pleasurable reading: a book full of diverse characters and interesting settings; of high action, grand love, character insight, courageous conflict, soaring language, slapstick romantic foul-ups, and tragic episodes...all set in my favorite historical moment, Paris of the 1840s, a time of artistic, social, and political ferment...the beginning of everything we call Modern. I couldn't find anything to fill the I wrote one.

After doing research into everything from the pecking order in the art schools of the era to the kinds of underwear working men of the era wore, I wrote the first draft of a novel that interwove the lives of several socially engaged, politically active young artists (one representing each major art) living on the same run-down street in Paris, where they befriended one another and shared their joys, their poverty, their loves, their crushing disasters, their little victories, and their battles against the philistine public and the exploiters of the People.

It was my a big canvas, large-cast, Nineteenth Century novel in which the Reader met every level of society, art, and commerce by following the multi-charactered hero/heroine I was confecting of the principal characters, one representing the artistic battle, one the search for love, another the need to care for your oppressed brothers, another dealing with problems (and advantages) of coming from a minority culture, another facing the particular problems of the woman artist in the early 19th century, etc. etc. The novel finally brought all the lines of action and all the characters to a climactic denouement on the barricades of the great insurrection of 1848.

I called the book Street of the Four Winds, after the ancient street in the 6th Arrondissement where the action was centered, and where I lived (in a garret, appropriately enough) throughout the research period. I showed the book to a few people in its rough form, and they were satisfyingly impressed by the range and scope of it, but then I drifted into other tasks and somehow never got back to this beloved project.

I am offering you a preview of the beginning of that book where most of the characters and settings are introduced. (available for download here 18 June 2005.)

If you like it and you want to read the rest of it some day, go harass your local publisher!'




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