One of the most sensational incidents in the history of France, the Dreyfus Affair was a landmark federal case involving treason and antisemitism. A controversial documentary about the trial by pioneering filmmaker Georges Méliès caused riots when it was shown in 1899, and was banned from any screening in France for the next three quarters of a century.
Who engineered Dreyfus's conviction? Was the man who played him in the film actually murdered by a mob of enraged moviegoers? And why is Jack Kews, a shadowy 20th-century Zola in New York City, so determined to find out?
A web of intrigue, menace and betrayal reaches through space and time, as the search for keys to a historic trap hones in on a cache of zealously guarded forgeries and tins of crumbling film stock.
"This erudite page-turner takes us from late 19th-century France to the film studios of the great Georges Méliès to the tribulations of a film restorer who finds herself caught up in political intrigue, a century after the famous Affaire Dreyfus. As in her celebrated L. C., Daitch constructs a compelling dialogue with an earlier century that shifts our perspective on our own time." —Susan Bernofsky, Foreign Words
"It's Susan Daitch at her finest! A smart, absorbing study of those at the margins of history who, under her deft pen, turn out to be vital. Fascinating story, captivating writing." —Deb Olin unferth, Revolution: The Year I Fell In Love and Went to Join the War
Susan Daitch is the author of four novels–The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir (City Lights) Paper Conspiracies (City Lights), L. C. (Lannan Foundation Selection and NEA Heritage Award), The Colorist–and a collection of short stories, Storytown. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications such as The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Fiction, and The Brooklyn Rail. Her work was featured in The Review of Contemporary Fiction along with William Vollman and David Foster Wallace. She taught at Barnard College, Columbia University, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She currently teaches at Hunter College.