The Flight Portfolio



The Long Awaited New Work From The Best Selling Author Of The Invisible Bridge Takes Us Back To Occupied Europe In This Gripping Historical Novel Based On The True Story Of Varian Fry S Extraordinary Attempt To Save The Work, And The Lives, Of Jewish Artists Fleeing The Holocaust.In 1940, Varian Fry A Harvard Educated American Journalist Traveled To Marseille Carrying Three Thousand Dollars And A List Of Imperiled Artists And Writers He Hoped To Rescue Within A Few Weeks Instead, He Ended Up Staying In France For Thirteen Months, Working Under The Veil Of A Legitimate Relief Organization To Procure False Documents, Amass Emergency Funds, And Set Up An Underground Railroad That Led Over The Pyrenees, Into Spain, And Finally To Lisbon, Where The Refugees Embarked For Safer Ports Among His Many Clients Were Hannah Arendt, Franz Werfel, Andr Breton, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, And Marc Chagall The Flight Portfolio Opens At The Chagalls Ancient Stone House In Gordes, France, As The Novel S Hero Desperately Tries To Persuade Them Of The Barbarism And Tragedy Descending On Europe Masterfully Crafted, Exquisitely Written, Impossible To Put Down, This Is Historical Fiction Of The Very First Order, And Resounding Confirmation Of Orringer S Gifts As A Novelist.The Flight Portfolio

Julie Orringer is an American author born in Miami, Florida Her first book, How to Breathe Underwater, was published in September 2003 by Knopf Publishing Group She is a graduate of Cornell University and the Iowa Writers Workshop and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University Her stories have appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney s, Ploughshares, Zoetrope All Story, The Pushcart Prize Ant

✰ The Flight Portfolio Epub ✶ Author Julie Orringer – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Hardcover
  • 576 pages
  • The Flight Portfolio
  • Julie Orringer
  • English
  • 07 January 2018
  • 9780307959409

10 thoughts on “The Flight Portfolio

  1. says:

    Throughout 1940 American and Harvard grad, Varian Fry, smuggled out of Marseille primarily Jewish avant garde artists Flight Portfolio is a fictionalized account of Fry s work with the Emergency Rescue Committee to save some of the most brilliant minds of Europe from the Nazis Marc Chagall, Andre Breton, Max Ernst, Franz Werfel, Marcel DuChamp, and Hannah Arendt were among those who received aid This historical novel is not just an exciting narrative of heroism and valor rooted in reality, although it is that It also presents questions about the value of life and how to live In other words, does the ability to wield a paintbrush or pen make that life valuable than that of another without talent And, what is required to live one s life with authenticity rather than to live a lie In addition to these potent questions there is a love story and it is a love story rather than a romance The writing is dense, descriptive and elegant The characters are flawed, fearless and fully human I can t begin to believe that I will read another book this year that will even come close to reaching the heights of Flight Portfolio.

  2. says:

    To be in Marseille, not Paris, still carried a certain novelty, a whiff of the unknown If Paris reeked of sex, opera, art, and decadent poverty, Marseille reeked of underground crime, opportunism, trafficked cocaine, rowdy tavern song Paris was a woman, a fallen woman in the arms of her Nazi captors but Marseille was a man, a schemer in a secondhand coat, ready to sell his soul or whatever else came quickly to hand It doesn t take long to fall in love with Varian Fry who was an American journalist He ran a rescue network in France helping Jewish refugees and anti Nazi s escape Nazi Germany and the HolocaustHe helped between 2,000 and 4,000 people.Julie Orringer who wrote The Invisible Bridge one of my favorite bookshas written a gripping historical fiction again I ve been waiting anxiously and excitedly for years for Julie s second novel Oh it s FABULOUS She educates her readers while totally transporting us back to a time in history in the most intimate ways.The year was 1940Varian Fry was staying at Hotel Splendide Marseille, France Varian writes a letter to his wife, Eileen, who stayed back in New York He tells Eileen that he has a few ha we know it s much than a few , projects that he can t abandon He feels he must stay longer He shares with Eileen that he has run into an old friend Elliott Grant it s been 12 years since he has seen him Varian went to Harvard with Grant and they worked together at the Hound and Horn He reminds Eileen that Grant was the guy they use to call Skiff.the guy she called a wet blanket Varian tells Eileen she was right.With only about 10% into the book I burst out laughing As the reader I was already so involved with the dialogue feelings and thoughts that Varian had for Grant some envious feelings some distrust and complex feelings.Grant had jealousy feelings, too, but hide them Jealousy seem parochial, retrograde, shameful Varian admits happy to see Grant these 12 years later though who became a professor of English at Columbia and is now on sabbatical They will be working together Many paths they will walk I melted when Varian included an e.e Cummings poem to his wife which he once gave her years before as part of his Valentines card I loved the poem One minute I m melting over the joy of a touching experience of a man s love for his wife.in another moment I m melting in a different way incredibly moved thankful to the great man Varian Fry and his bigger than life gifts of freedom to others Varian only had 3,000 and a short list of refugees under imminent threat of arrests by the Gestapo, mostly Jews Many desperate people including famous artists and musicians were begging for help seeking any means to escape Varian stepped forward putting his own life in danger used his own money Julie Orringer s storytelling feels so frightening and suspenseful and real at times Even letter writing home to Eileen as Varian re located throughout France was frightening to him, for the fear of censorship In Lisbon, for example he could be censor free but he also entered Lisbon with clients on an escape It s a long book but so was The Invisible Bridge Once again Reading Julie s novel was never a choreor too long It was a heavenly transporting journey Her historical fiction books both demonstrates the skill of a journalist with a flair a soulful artist herself I just can t say enough about this being the best Historical novel I ve read in a long time.Julie s writing is rich, poignant suspenseful emotionally felt with indelible characters so vivid and human that she totally restored my passion for Historical Fiction.Best not to give too many details away If you loved The Invisible Bridge you ll love this novel too.Many thanks to Knopf Random House, and to Julie Orringer for her brilliant achievement by her warmth and exquisite prose P.S and who knew that a silver nautilus shirt cuff would be a symbol of love and legacy Book to be released in April 2019

  3. says:

    Why I love itby Brianna GoodmanBefore I tell you why I loved this book, let me tell you why I thought I wouldn t 1 It s over 500 pages, which often makes me wish a book had been harshly edited 2 It s about World War II, and, having read World War II novels than I can count, I ve grown tired of tropes that often repeat in these stories 3 I picked it up during a massive reading slump that left me no choice but to binge watch Game of Thrones So when I tell you this book reignited my reading life and restored my fried brain, it s not hyperbole This book is just that good.The Flight Portfolio is a fictionalized account of the life of Varian Fry, an American who saves renowned Jewish artists from the Holocaust by smuggling them out of occupied France From securing false passports, to bribing police officers, to hustling refugees across the border, Varian and his team risk their own lives daily to save the lives and works of now legendary figures But when a former flame seeks Varian out to save the life of a boy he knows, Varian finds himself torn between duty and love for the man he never thought he d see again.The topics in this book are massive forbidden love, prejudice, the price of a life but Varian s story never feels overbearing instead, it just feels real Like 2017 Book of the Year winner The Heart s Invisible Furies, this novel follows closely the life of a likable man struggling with his identity in an unforgiving world There are moments of lightness a Surrealist party conducted in the nude, for starters , and of course, the inevitable darkness If you too need to be zapped back to life by a really good book, then this big ass, big hearted novel is for you.Read at

  4. says:

    The Flight Portfolio refers to a collection of art that Varian Fry hopes will help the cause of Jewish artists trapped in early 1940s Europe But most of his attention is not on the art, but on helping the artists escape Nazi capture This is an ambitious novel that walks the tightrope of telling a historical figure s documented story while also creating his fictional love life.Mostly, Orringer succeeds brilliantly The downside is that the momentum builds very slowly The pace sometimes frustrated me for the first 300 or so pages, I was always aware of what page I was on But my patience was rewarded This is an excellent, thought provoking novel given a choice who do you save And personally, both for Varian and his lover, what are the costs of passing

  5. says:

    I have only read 20% of this novel but must write a small review already I was so excited to learn months ago that Julie Orringer had written a novel, The Flight Portfolio, about the the work of Varian Fry I started reading it as soon as it was published To my increasingly great dismay and disbelief I find that Orringer has fabricated a male lover for Varian Fry Not only that, but his obsession with this man takes up so much space in the book that it diminishes the focus on the real story, saving refugees, which Fry does while risking his own life on a daily basis This story is thrilling enough all by itself without the obsessive focus on the sexual relationship This obsession on the author s part slowed down my reading and diminished rather than maintained my interest and focus Perhaps if I hadn t already read 2 biographies about Fry I would feel differently These include A Quiet American The Secret War of Varian Fry and A Hero of Our Own The Story of Varian Fry I asked myself why a male lover was never mentioned in these biographies Perhaps Orringer s research found something these biographers didn t or didn t chose to include An excerpt from a New York Times review of this book stated Even the glamour of the homoerotic, which fuels Orringer s engine of suspense, turns threadbare through overexposure In scene after scene, Varian s leg slides seductively along Grant s or vice versa For the historical Fry, beyond hunches and hints, there is no evidence of homosexuality Yet Orringer makes it a part of his character Apparently, there is evidence that Fry did, in fact, have a male lover in France This came out in replies to this article, including a moving letter from Fry s son Still, I couldn t agree with this quote in terms of Orringer s overemphasis on the affair in scene after scene over and above telling the story about the flight of hundreds of refugees which Fry s work made possible.I will attempt to persevere with this mashup of a novel for now.Update I read one review on GR which stated that the book was bogged down by the affair until around page 300 after which the book finally picks up momentum I don t have that kind of patience Maybe one day I ll jump to page 300 and read from there DNF d the book for now.

  6. says:

    The GOOD Orringer highlights the impressive role that Varian Fry played in saving the lives of than 2,000 refugees fleeing Nazi Germany and the complicit Vichy government during 1940 41 The refugees included such famous personages as Hannah Arendt, Jacques Lifschitz, Golo Mann, Max Ernst, Marc Chagall and countless others Fry went to Marseille as a volunteer for the Emergency Rescue Committee, which initially received support from Eleanor Roosevelt The suffocating atmosphere of Marseille comes alive under Orringer s pen.The BAD Orringer chose to have Fry engage in a gay love affair that is pure fiction There WAS a rumor that Fry might be gay, but this fictional relationship padded an overlong narrative that would have benefited by being a shorter book.The UGLY Orringer recounts the despicable role the Vichy government played in rounding up Jews and other undesirables identified by the Nazi government But, disturbing is the role that Hugh Fullerton, the consul general, played to thwart the efforts of the Emergency Rescue Committee at the request of Cordell Hull, the Roosevelt administration s Secretary of State Fortunately, Hiram Bingham, the vice consul issued visas to the United States in abundance, saving many hundreds of lives.

  7. says:

    I did not want this book to end.Don t Google Varian Fry before reading The Flight Portfolio Let the novel surprise you.Varian arrives in Vichy France in 1940, with 3000, a visa for a few weeks, and a list of Jewish artists he was to attempt to rescue Fry is a Harvard graduate and a journalist of sorts He s married to a woman who is a power at the powerful Atlantic magazine, and who is behind much of the the funding for this rescue effort Arriving in Marseilles, he gathers a group of people around him who bring out his audacious side Varian finds that he is fearless in getting these people many of whom are very reluctant to leave across the border to Spain and off Vichy and the Nazi s radar His time stretches on, partially because of his heady success and partially because he has reconnected with the man who may be the love of his life.Julie Orringer s third novel is masterful Every page is full, as good as it can be, and riveting I loved it, and any fan of quality fiction will, too.

  8. says:

    4.5 Orringer s The Invisible Bridge, my highlight from last summer s reading, was the saga of a Hungarian Jewish family s experiences in the Second World War while The Flight Portfolio again charts the rise of Nazism and a growing awareness of Jewish extermination, it s a very different though equally affecting narrative Its protagonist is a historical figure, Varian Fry, a Harvard educated journalist who founded the Emergency Rescue Committee to help at risk artists and writers escape to the United States from France, and many of the supporting characters are also drawn from real life.In 1940, when Varian is 32, he travels to Marseille to coordinate the ERC s operations on the ground Every day his office interviews 60 refugees and chooses 10 to recommend to the command center in New York City Varian and his staff arrange bribes, fake passports, and exit visas to get Jewish artists out of the country via the Pyrenees or various sea routes Their famous clients include Hannah Arendt, Andr Breton, Marc Chagall, Andr Gide and members of Thomas Mann s family, all of whom make cameo appearances.Police raids and deportation are constant threats, but there is still joy and absurdity to be found in daily life, especially thanks to Breton and the other Surrealists who soon share Varian s new headquarters at Villa Air Bel which you can tour virtually here They host dinner parties one in the nude based around games and spectacles, even when wartime food shortages mean there s little besides foraged snails or the goldfish from the pond to eat.Like The Invisible Bridge, The Flight Portfolio is a love story, if not in the way you might expect Soon after he arrives in Marseille, Varian is contacted by a Harvard friend and ex lover he hasn t heard from in 12 years, Elliott Grant Grant begs Varian to help him find his Columbia University teaching colleague s son and get him out of Europe Even though Varian doesn t understand why Grant is so invested in Tobias Katznelson, he absorbs the sense of urgency As Varian and Grant renew their clandestine affair, Tobias s case becomes a kind of microcosm of the ERC s work Amid layers of deception, it stands as a symbol of the value of one human life Varian gradually comes to accept that he can t save everyone, but maybe if he can save Tobias he ll win Grant back.Nearly eighty years on, this plot strand still feels perfectly timely Varian is married to Eileen and has been passing for straight, yet he doesn t fit the stereotype of a homosexual hiding behind marriage to a woman In fact, the novel makes it plain that Varian was bisexual he truly loved Eileen, but Grant was the love of his life Can he face the truth and find courage to live as he truly is The same goes for Grant, who has an additional secret Orringer s Author s Note, at the end of the book, explains how much of this is historical and how much is made up, and what happened next for Varian I ll let you discover it for yourself The Flight Portfolio didn t sweep me away quite as fully as The Invisible Bridge did, perhaps because the litany of refugee cases and setbacks over the course of the novel s one year chronology verges on overwhelming I also had only a vague impression of most of Varian s colleagues, and there are a few too many Mantel esque he, Varian type constructions to clarify which male character is acting.On the whole, though, this is historical fiction at its best It conveys how places smell and sound with such rich detail The sorts of descriptive passages one skims over in other books are so gorgeous and evocative here that they warrant reading two or even three times The story of an accidental hero torn between impossible choices is utterly compelling I m convinced, if I wasn t already, that Julie Orringer is among our finest living writers, and this is my top novel of 2019 so far.Two favorite passages If we could pin down the moments when our lives bifurcate into before and after if we could pause the progression of millisecond, catch ourselves at the point before we slip over the precipice if we could choose to remain suspended in time amber, our lives intact, our hearts unbroken, our foreheads unlined, our nights full of undisturbed sleep would we slip, or would we choose the amber Evening was falling, descending along the Val d Huveaune like a shadow cloak, like a tissue thin eyelid hazed with veins Varian stood at the open window, dressing for dinner Grant, at the harpsichord downstairs, conjured a Handel suite for the arriving guests From outside came the scent of sage and wet earth a rainstorm had tamped down the afternoon s dust, and the mistral blew across the valley A nightingale lit in the medlar tree beneath the window and launched into variegated song It occurred to Varian that the combination of voices below made a music soon to be lost forever Originally published, with images, on my blog, Bookish Beck.

  9. says:

    Flight Portfolio is an ambitious, well written, lengthy novel using as its framework the life of Varian Fry However it should be approached as a novel, not a biography, since there is an added key element of Fry s being gay, referenced by professional reviewers, which apparently did not have a basis in fact but is fabricated for plot purposes It is very effective here since it makes for an exciting, poignant storyline I admit to not having known about Fry and his organization operating out of Marsailles which facilitated sending some 2,000 artists, thinkers and people deemed important to mankind as a whole to safety in the face of Nazi occupation and the Vichy government Ms Orringer writes with a sure hand, her characters breathe as does the city of Marseilles in all its blowsy glory.

  10. says:

    I received a free publisher s advance review copy.I have always been interested in learning about Varian Fry and his impressive efforts to get so many artists out of the reach of the Nazis and their minions Of course I knew that this book is fiction, but I had the preconception that the fiction characterization would be necessary to assign thoughts and feelings to Fry that couldn t be verified through historical records It turns out there is a lot fiction than that in this book.Orringer has done a great deal of research and gives us the details of Fry s work, which is challenging, frustrating, dangerous and inspiring She also gives us insight into Fry s humanity and the doubts he sometimes has about many aspects of his mission and about himself She s an elegant writer and her descriptions of France, especially Marseilles, are beautiful and evocative These things are obviously all to the good.Historical fiction is a risky proposition The writer is expected to be true to the history, but place fictional characters in among the real characters of the time and place, and use those fictional characters to personalize history for the reader Orringer has instead fictionalized a real person That s alright in principle, but I m not at all comfortable with where she takes that in this book There are some who suggest that Fry had a same sex relationship in college and may have continued to have homosexual encounters as an adult, though married with children Orringer jumps into this notion with both feet, inventing a character named Grant, who comes back into Fry s life in France and rekindles a relationship that leads to a thriller ish plot This whole fictional plot comes to nearly dominate the book, and that goes too far for me It s an exciting story, sure, but it s not Fry s story.

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