Exiles and Fugitives: The Letters of Jacques and Raîssa Maritain, Allen Tate, and Caroline Gordon Edited by John M. Dunaway (Review)

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Exiles and Fugitives: The Letters of Jacques and Raîssa Maritain, Allen Tate, and Caroline Gordon Edited by John M. Dunaway (Review)

by Alphonse Vinh
Southern Cultures, Vol. 1, No. 1: Fall 1994

Louisiana State University Press, 1992

On 13 January 1940 the French philosopher Jacques Maritain, his wife Raîssa, and his sister-in-law Véra Oumansoff arrived at the port of New York. They were among ten thousand French nationals who found themselves expatriated to the New World as the Old World disintegrated in the flames of war. Fugitives from Nazi tyranny and exiles from the shores of their prostrate France, the Maritains were destined for a fateful encounter with another pair of fugitives and exiles, Caroline Gordon and Allen Tate. John Dunaway, native Georgian and scholar of French literature, has now edited the correspondence between the Tates and the Maritains, chronicling one of literature’s most extraordinary cross-cultural friendships.