It is the spring of 1963. The young Quebec author Marie-Claire Blais, bursting with energy and talent, has just won a coveted Guggenheim fellowship. She chooses Cambridge, Massachusetts, as the place where she will begin her writer's apprenticeship with her mentor, Edmund Wilson.
American Notebooks is much more than a fascinating autobiographical account of the intellectual flowering of a great writer. An album of exquisitely drawn literary portraits of companions, intellectuals, writers, musicians, artists and social activists of the period--Edmund and Elena Wilson; Mary Meigs; Maud Maugan; Barbara Deming; Truman Capote; Jacques Hébert, her first Quebec publisher, then senator; and many others--it also introduces many of the real life personalities who have inspired her fictional characters.