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Shocking, banned and the subject of obscenity trials, Henry Miller's first novel Tropic of Cancer is one of the most scandalous and influential books of the twentieth century
Tropic of Cancer redefined the novel. Set in Paris in the 1930s, it features a starving American writer who lives a bohemian life among prostitutes, pimps, and artists. Banned in the US and the UK for more than thirty years because it was considered pornographic, Tropic of Cancer continued to be distributed in France and smuggled into other countries. When it was first published in the US in 1961, it led to more than 60 obscenity trials until a historic ruling by the Supreme Court defined it as a work of literature. Long hailed as a truly liberating book, daring and uncompromising, Tropic of Cancer is a cornerstone of modern literature that asks us to reconsider everything we know about art, freedom, and morality.
'At last an unprintable book that is fit to read' Ezra Pound
'A momentous event in the history of modern writing' Samuel Beckett
'The book that forever changed the way American literature would be written' Erica Jong
Henry Miller (1891-1980) is one of the most important American writers of the 20th century. His best-known novels include Tropic of Cancer (1934), Tropic of Capricorn (1939), and the Rosy Crucifixion trilogy (Sexus, 1949, Plexus, 1953, and Nexus, 1959), all published in France and banned in the US and the UK until 1964. He is widely recognised as an irreverent, risk-taking writer who redefined the novel and made the link between the European avant-garde and the American Beat generation.
Miller's once controversial story that ended up altering United States censorship laws tells of a young writer and his pals in Paris during the Great Depression. Part memoir, part fictional tale, Miller's prose is a complex mix that demands the reader's utmost attention. Campbell Scott reads with a gentle, steady voice that captures the more personal side of Miller's writing. Scott is in conversation with himself, posing questions and offering up answers apparently on a whim. His reading is incredibly rich and layered, filled with emotions and ideologies. The result is a stunning, intimate listen that will lure listeners in with its straightforward approach and keep them rapt with its raw honesty.