Around Midnight, Circa 1937: The Parisian Demi-Monde in Jean Rhys and Djuna Barnes (Virtual)

Tuesday, March 14, 2023-Tuesday, April 18, 2023

6:00 PM-8:00 PM
Six Sessions


The registration period has closed for this event.

Course Description
In Good Morning, Midnight (1937), Jean Rhys memorializes a Paris of the demi-monde almost on the eve of World War II. Djuna Barnes, in her thorny and brilliant novel Nightwood (1936), also explores that scene. Though both had in common a group of drifters, con artists, expatriates, alcoholics, illicit lovers, and artists, the world of Nightwood encompasses gays, lesbians, cross-dressers, converted Jews, lapsed Catholics, and circus performers, while Good Morning, Midnight depicts prostitutes, gigolos, live mannequins, alcoholics, and an unmarried woman aging in anguish.

One novel focuses more on what would later be called “alternative lifestyles,” the other on the near-impossibility of getting by as a poor, single woman in a world that worships youth and material goods. Both take place largely in the dark hours (as the dark hour of Fascism loomed), and feature exiled protagonists unlucky in love.

In this class, we will read both novels along with biographies of the two writers.
Six Sessions. $255/$230. Led by Natania Rosenfeld

Registration Fees

Registration is $255

We offer a 10% discount to seniors, students, and members of the Newberry (Associates at the Author level and above).

Contact Us
The Adult Education is available Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm. Email is the best form of contact: You can also reach us by phone at 312-255-3700. Please allow 24-48 business hours for a response.