By Susan Daitch
City Lights, 380 pp.
An underworld of intrigue thrives at the center of Susan Daitch’s new novel, Paper Conspiracies, surrounding the Georges Méliès film L’affaire Dreyfus (1899). A lonely film restorer in New York working against the clock to repair the lost Méliès film, a mysterious 20th-century Zola named Jack Kews (J’accuse). The novel jump-cuts through space and time, revealing pockets of characters on the fringe of L’affaire and secret histories–from the 1890s, 1930s, and 1968 Paris. The world Susan Daitch spins is like uncovering a lost history first-hand through the eyes and ears of those who were there. An engrossing novel for the age of censorship and redaction. We haven’t been able to put it down.
We also recommend watching Méliès’s L’affaire Dreyfus as a reading supplement.