Fitch, Noël Riley

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American biographer.

From the description of Appetite for Life : files, 1973-1998. (University of California, San Diego). WorldCat record id: 50234156

Noël Riley Fitch (1937-) was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and educated at Northwest Nazarene College (B.A., 1959) and Washington State University (M.A., 1965 and Ph.D., 1969). She was professor of literature (1971-1987) and chair of the Department of Literature and Modern Languages (1982 -1985) at Point Loma College. She lectures at the University of Southern California (since 1986) and the American University of Paris (since 1987).

As a scholar of American expatriate intellectuals living in Paris in the first half of this century, Fitch cast a new perspective on Paris literary life with her first biography, Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation, 1983. Anatole Broyard of the New York Times called it "probably the best and most complete history of that period." Her 1990 Walks in Hemingway's Paris: A Guide to Paris for the Literary Traveler is a compendium of locations where the American author and his friends lived, ate, and socialized in Paris.

Fitch continued her investigation of the literary life in Paris with her 1993 biography of another prominent Paris personality, Anaïs: The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin . Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) authored more than a dozen books of fiction and erotica over the course of her life. She was a cult figure of the feminist movement who, as a liberated woman, broke the confines of American Victorianism. Although Nin published her diaries over the years, literary critics believe that they present a constructed, stylized image of the woman. Fitch analyzed the novelist's/diarist's own writings to create an in-depth examination of Nin who was as well known for her literary work as for her numerous and unconventional love affairs. For example, Nin's illicit relationship with Henry Miller and his wife, June, was explored in the 1990 Hollywood feature film, Henry and June . Fitch sought to present an honest portrait of the author that reveals the psychological abuse that Nin suffered as a child and may have led to her lifelong insecurities.

Fitch also wrote Literary Cafes of Paris (1989), and contributed to Faith and Imagination: Essays on Evangelicals and Literature (editor with Richard W. Etulain, 1985), and In Transition: A Paris Anthology (introduction, 1990). In addition, she has contributed chapters to the Dictionary of Literary Biography (Volume 4: Americans in Paris, 1920-1939, 1980); James Joyce: The Augmented Ninth (1988); Lesbian Texts and Contexts: Radical Revisions (1990); and A Living of Words: American Women in Print Culture (n.d.). Her most recent biography, Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child, was published in 1997.

From the guide to the Noël Riley Fitch Papers, 1930-2001, (1990-1994), (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin)

Noël Riley Fitch (1937-) was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and educated at Northwest Nazarene College (B.A., 1959) and Washington State University (M.A., 1965 and Ph.D., 1969), and subsequently completed postdoctoral NEH seminar studies at Princeton (1976) and Yale (1979). She was professor of literature (1971-1987) and chair of the Department of Literature and Modern Languages (1982 -1985) at Point Loma College. She was a lecturer at the University of Southern California from 1986 to 2007 and the American University of Paris from 1987 to 2007.

Working with the full cooperation and exclusive authorization of Julia Child, Noël Riley Fitch conducted thorough research into Child's life and completed extensive interviews with those in her broad circle to write Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child (1997, 2012). Fitch went on to write further articles about Child and collaborated with the A&E Biography of her produced in 1997.

Fitch is also the author of a number of books exploring cafe culture in Europe and particularly Paris including The Grand Literary Cafes of Europe (2007), covering the history of coffee and the coffeehouse and featuring nearly 40 cafes in 20 countries, from London To Moscow, Lisbon to Bucharest and Rome; Literary Cafes of Paris (1989) with descriptions, history, anecdotes, and comments on the food and drink of nearly thirty establishments central to the literary life of France, America and England; and Paris Cafe: The Select Crowd (2007), a personal look into the workings and daily rhythm of a cafe and its famous as well as anonymous clientele co-authored with illustrator Rick Tulka.

From the guide to the Noël Riley Fitch Julia Child Papers, 1912-2012, (© 2012 Fales Library and Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, ca. 1933-1997. Houghton Library.
referencedIn David Gascoyne papers, 1822-2010, n.d. British Library: Western Manuscripts
referencedIn Gore Vidal papers, 1875-2004 (inclusive), 1936-2000 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Fitch, Noël Riley. Noël Riley Fitch papers, 1858-2002 (bulk 1965-1995) Princeton University Library
creatorOf Noël Riley Fitch Julia Child Papers, 1912-2012 Fales Library & Special Collections
creatorOf Noël Riley Fitch Papers, 1930-2001, (1990-1994) Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Noël Riley Fitch Papers 1930-2001, (1990-1994) Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Nin, Anaïs, 1903-1977. Anaïs Nin papers, 1969-1991. The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library
creatorOf Miller, Henry, 1891-1980. The Noel Riley Fitch collection of Henry Miller, 1987-1993. Southern Illinois University, Morris Library
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, ca. 1933-1997. Houghton Library.
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Fitch, Noel Riley. Appetite for Life : files, 1973-1998. University of California, San Diego. University Library
Relation Name
associatedWith Beach, Sylvia. person
associatedWith Child, Julia. person
associatedWith Gascoyne, David Emery, 1916-2001 person
associatedWith Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961 person
associatedWith McDougall, Richard. person
associatedWith Miller, Henry, 1891-1980. person
associatedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
associatedWith Nin, Anaïs, 1903-1977. person
associatedWith Shakespeare and Company (Paris, France). corporateBody
associatedWith Vidal, Gore, 1925- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Paris (France)
France--Paris
Paris (France)
Cambridge (Mass.)
United States
Subject
Women cooks--United States--History--20th century
Authors and publishers--United States--History--20th century
Women cooks--United States
Novelists, American--20th century
Coffeehouses--Europe
Cooking schools
Poets, American--20th century
Cooking, French
Women in the food industry
Food habits
Cooking, American--California style
Restaurants--France--Paris
Biography as a literary form
Literary landmarks--20th century
Paris (France)--History--20th century
Authors, American--20th century
Cookery, American--History--20th century
Cooking, American
Booksellers and bookselling--20th century
Culinary Industry
Food writing
Bookstores--20th century
Dinners and dining
Comic books, strips, etc
Coffeehouses in literature
Cooks--Biography
Cooking--Study and teaching
Authors, French--20th century
Food industry and trade
Occupation
Food writers
Function

Person

Birth 1937-12-24

Americans

English

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