Emile Zola born in the late 1800s wrote a public letter, J’accuse, which caused a height of controversy and risked his entire career, published on the front page of the Paris Daily. Zola’s passion for to fight for the injustice of falsely accused Alfred Dreyfuss, led him to be ostracised by society and brought to trial himself. He is now known as one of the most important contributors to the political liberal movement in France and a Nobel Prize winner.
Before reading To Live Out Loud, by Paulette Mahurin, I had little knowledge of this infamous character in French literary history. The author takes you on a journey, told through the eyes of a loyal and lifelong friend of Zola’s. The writing is engaging from the beginning as you get to know Zola as a child through to the moment where he changed history.
The author has clearly demonstrated a passion for Zola’s part in history as his fury and obsession with righting the wrongs of the judicial system comes through evidently in the way she portrays the events with strong historical accuracy.
I was touched by Zola’s passion, intensity and stamina through a gruelling trial and the backlash of society and many of his friendships. This is truly a work of passion, a lesson in history and a story to be read and remembered.