Carl Van Vechten (1880 - 1964), born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1880, rose to become one of America's most prominent writers. Throughout his career, he had written seven novels, featuring the turbulent twenties, to go along with numerous collections of essays and short stories. Aside from being an acclaimed author, Van Vechten went on to become a widely regarded photographer, photographing such profound celebrities as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gore Vidal, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald. One of his many accomplishments was patronizing the work of the Harlem Renaissance. He died at the age of 84 in New York City.
Welcome to one of Carl Van Vechten's most intriguing, ironic novels.
First published in 1925, Firecrackers centers around Paul Moody, a man who finds his life utterly tedious and uneventful in New York City. However, that is until he encounters the mysterious, yet exuberant, Gunnar O'Grady.
Moody tries to uncover the mystery of his young friend, while also desperately seeking his own purpose in the world. Though, little does he know that his life and the lives of those around him are about to be changed forever.
Humorous, poignant, and ironic, Firecrackers boldly stands as one of the most definitive portraits on the excesses and recklessness of the Jazz Age.
The long-unprinted novel is considered an authentic portrait of the 1920s and explores the eternal search for happiness
In conjunction with the Carl Van Vechten Trust, Mondial is set to republish the late author's long-unprinted novel, Firecrackers: A Realistic Novel. In what must be considered a milestone, the book will be published after being out of print for over eighty years; thereby poising to become a lost find for readers and literary scholars alike.
First published in 1925, the novel centers around a wide cast of characters whose lives are irrevocably changed by the mysterious Gunnar O'Grady in 1920s New York. Though, like most Van Vechten novels, there is more than actually meets the eye.
Bruce Kellner, "Successor Trustee" to the Estate of Carl Van Vechten, says the republication of Firecrackers is important, because the book "bolsters our understanding of [the twenties]" and "comes closest to depicting the Jazz Age in all its variety."
The book also uniquely explores the true meaning of happiness and the eternal search for self-identity, through humorous, thoughtful, and often poignant characters. Though, Kellner believes what makes Firecrackers truly unique is that the book "anticipates the frantic desperation…when the stock market crash brought the twenties to a thudding halt."