What does a reader have to say about my book, To Live Out Loud, Antisemitism, and journalism today.



To Live Out Loud– A Novel About Émile Zola’s Life and Death

When I reviewed A Different Kind of Angel by Paulette Mahurin last month here , I said that I would be getting to Mahurin’s 19th century homophobia novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, soon.  Yet I had Mahurin’s Zola novel, To Live Out Loud, on my Kindle. Yes, I actually purchased it. Sometimes I do review books I bought.  😄

A more cogent reason to prioritize To Live Out Loud is because it now seems so urgently necessary to remind people about what happened in late 19th century France.  Right wing military officials inflamed an antisemitic hysteria by court-martialing loyal Jewish officer Alfred Dreyfus in 1894 and condemning him for treason based on falsified evidence.  For  American Jews, this is a travesty of justice that echoes through history due to recent events.

In 2017 white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia chanting “Jews will not replace us.” Then in 2018, the worst antisemitic atrocity in American history occurred when a right wing extremist killed 11 praying Jews on the Sabbath at a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania synagogue.

Dreyfus had a defender in the French press.  He was Émile Zola who wrote a searing editorial commentary called “J’Accuse!” which became famous.  I knew about “J’Accuse!”, but it was To Live Out Loud that made me aware that Zola was subjected to violent attacks afterward.  Today journalists who expose injustices are no more safe than Zola had been.  There is a hostile atmosphere that encourages persecution of journalists.  So I very much appreciate that Paulette Mahurin focuses on journalists who were social activists such as
Émile Zola in this book, and Nellie Bly in her most recent novel, A Different Kind of Angel.

To Live Out Loud also made me aware of a French Kristellnacht  in the French colony of Algeria that was an incident which happened during the same period as the Dreyfus case.  According to a Wikipedia article on The History of Jews in Algeria,  in 1898 two Jews were killed and 156 Jewish shops in Algiers were attacked as a result of antisemitic hysteria among the French colonists.

My only criticism of this book is that I thought it would have been more intense if it had been from Zola’s perspective.  I don’t really see the need for a fictionalized friend of Zola who barely exists as a character.  After Zola’s death, there could have been an epilogue from the perspective of Alfred Dreyfus perhaps.

Otherwise To Live Out Loud was a meticulously researched novel that speaks to our times.  Zola’s courage and integrity are memorialized through this book.

I’d like to close with a quote from Anatole France’s eulogy at Zola’s funeral:

“Zola deserves well of his country for not having lost faith in its ability to rule by law.”

About The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for "gross indecency" under Britian's recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When the news of Wilde's conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wildes' imprisonment. It is chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing. Paulette Mahurin, the author, is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Ojai, California with her husband Terry and their two dogs--- Max and Bella. She practices women's health in a rural clinic and writes in her spare time. All profits from her book are going to animal rescue, Santa Paula Animal Shelter, the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA, where she lives. (see links below on Ventura County Star Article & Shelter) To find out more please go the The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on facebook or Amazon or e-mail us at the gavatar addresses. Thank you. (photos: of Paulette, her family, and a reading at The Ojai Art Center, July 2012)
This entry was posted in A Different Kind of Angel, REVIEWS, TO LIVE OUT LOUD. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to What does a reader have to say about my book, To Live Out Loud, Antisemitism, and journalism today.

  1. tazzielove says:

    Great and timely review.

  2. ❤ ❤ ❤ Pawkisses for a Happy read…eh..and week ahead, dear Paulette🐾😽💞

  3. To see these animals restored is heartwarming

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