Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Air-Bel" - Invitation to a Presentation

The Canadian Embassy is pleased to invite the CCR Book Club and the members of the Canadian Club of Rome to the presentation of Canadian author Rosemary Sullivan's recently published book:

Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape and a House in Marseille
(Air-Bel: Seconda Guerra Mondiale – Una casa in Francia per artisti in fuga )

When: May 20th, 2010

Time: Registration 10:30 AM
Presentation: 11:00 AM

Place: Embassy of Canada in Rome
via Salaria 243

a light, stand-up buffet lunch will follow

Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille

France, 1940. The once glittering boulevards of Paris teem with spies, collaborators, and the Gestapo now that France has fallen to Hitler's Wermacht. For André Breton, Max Ernst, Marc Chagall, Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry, and scores of other cultural elite who have been denounced as enemies of the Third Reich the fear of imminent arrest, deportation, and death defines their daily life. Their only salvation is the Villa Air-Bel, a château outside Marseille where a group of young people will go to extraordinary lengths to keep them alive. A powerfully told, meticulously researched true story filled with suspense, drama, and intrigue, Villa Air-Bel delves into a fascinating albeit hidden saga in our recent history. It is a remarkable account of how a diverse intelligentsia—intense, brilliant, and utterly terrified—was able to survive one of the darkest chapters of the twentieth century.

Rosemary Sullivan has written poems, short stories, biographies, literary criticisms articles and works of non-fiction. She is the bestselling author of Labyrinth of Desire: Women, Passion, and Romantic Obsession and The Red Shoes: Margaret Atwood Starting Out. Her biography of Gwendolyn MacEwen, Shadow Maker, won the Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction. A poet and a Professor of History and English Literature at the
University of Toronto, Rosemary lives in Toronto with her husband.

In addition to Prof. Sullivan, other speakers will include Anna Foa, Professor of Modern History at the Università di Roma "La Sapienza", and the Roman journalist and author, Luciano Tas. The audience will consist of other historians and journalists, students, Italian government officials and representatives of NGOs, religious communities and foreign diplomats posted to Rome. The event will also include the screening of "The Road Out", a 10-minute documentary on "Villa Air-Bel" featuring Rosemary Sullivan. The debate will feature a discussion of human rights, inter-ethnic and ideological tolerance and the role of intellectuals and artists in modern society. The presentations will be made in English by Prof. Sullivan and in Italian by Prof. Foa and Mr. Tas, with consecutive translation of Prof. Sullivan's presentation to the audience.

We look forward to your participation and ask that Club members confirm their registration as soon as possible, but no later than the morning of May 18th.
RSVP to:

For the information of members planning to attend please note that only Rosemary Sullivan will be speaking in English with translation into Italian. The Italian speakers will be translated in English only for Prof. Sullivan's benefit.

Please note that Villa Air Bel is the current read for our CCR Book Club.