The Expatriates: American Writers Who Never Left Home

Date of Graduation

Fall 1979


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Wesley Hall


An extensive research of the underlying causes of the pilgrimage by American writers to Paris after World War I reveals that the so-called Expatriates were actually never Expatriates, did not consider themselves Expatriates. To them America remained home. The focus of this paper is the Expatriate Movement. First, I will examine why the American Expatriates left their homeland and went to Paris. The American emigrants were dissatisfied with some aspect of American life, whether it was cost-of-living, prohibition, Puritanism, or lack of artistic culture. The views of American critics Harold Stearns, H.L. Mencken, and Sinclair Lewis will be incorporated. Second, I will discuss the life experienced abroad by the Expatriates--the people (including writers from other countries) with whom they associated; the places they frequented (including cafes, literary salons, and bookstores); and the publications to which they submitted works. Next, I will portray the members of the Movement. The elders of the Movement--Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound-- will be depicted, as well as their followers--Sherwood Anderson, Ernest Hemingway, E.E. Cummings, Malcolm Cowley, Morley Callaghan, Robert McAlmon, Sinclair Lewis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Carlos Williams, Sylvia Beach, Archibald MacLeish, Glenway Wescott, Louis Bromfield, Edith Wharton, Natalie Clifford Barney, William Faulkner, D.H. Lawrence, Hart Crane, and Harry Crosby. Marianne Moore will also be discussed. In addition, although Irishman James Joyce and Englishman Ford Maddox Fod expatriated from countries other than America, their contributions to the lifestyle and/or creative productivity of their American counterparts warranted inclusion in this paper. They will be discussed with Stein and Pound. And although Englishman T.S. Eliot will be mentioned briefly, in conjunction with Pound and Cummings, he only lived in Paris from 1910-11; from 1914 on, he made England his permanent home. The conventional Eliot felt contempt for most of the Expatriates of the Left Bank and mocked his friends who affected Bohemianism. Finally, I will examine the contributions of the Expatriates to American literature. I will conclude with a discussion of the word Expatriate as a label which is convenient but misleading and unfair.

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


© Tina C Stillwell