St. Louis’ October Book Club
About the book
The Bohemians by Jasmin Darznik
In this novel of the glittering and gritty Jazz Age, young aspiring photographer Dorothea Lange arrives in San Francisco in 1918. As a newcomer–and a naive one at that–Dorothea is grateful for the fast friendship of Caroline Lee, a vivacious, straight-talking Chinese American with a complicated past, who introduces Dorothea to Monkey Block, an artists’ colony and the bohemian heart of the city. Dazzled by Caroline and her friends, Dorothea is catapulted into a heady new world of freedom, art, and politics. She also finds herself falling in love with the brilliant but troubled painter Maynard Dixon. As she sheds her innocence, her purpose is awakened and she grows into the artist whose iconic Depression-era “Migrant Mother” photograph broke the hearts and opened the eyes of a nation.
A vivid and absorbing portrait of the past, The Bohemians captures a cast of unforgettable characters, including Frida Kahlo, Ansel Adams, and D. H. Lawrence. But moreover, it shows how the gift of friendship and the possibility of self-invention persist against the ferocious pull of history.