AUP student taking a photo of the Seine during Orientation.



Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 18:00

The American University of Paris celebrates the launch of Professor Daniel Gunn’s newest novel, The Emperor of Ice-Cream

This event will be hosted by the AUP Creative Writing Club and will feature a discussion with the author, as well as his readings of his work. Following the presentation there will be a reception with food and drinks, and a book signing by Professor Gunn.

About the The Emperor of Ice-Cream:

Now in her eighties, Lucia, the daughter of Italian immigrants, looks back on her youth spent in Scotland during the 1920s and 30s. She remembers her three brothers, Dario, Giulio, and Emilio, and the very different ways they live through these decades: the eldest becomes the head of the Edinburgh Fascist club, the second sets up a luxurious ice-cream parlour, the youngest trains his verbal skills for his future as a poet. Lucia’s tale is interlaced with letters she exchanges with her brothers, as one or other of them visits and discovers Italy. She learns what it is to be an immigrant and to wonder where is ‘home’; she experiences religious sectarianism, idealism and disillusionment, passion, hope, disappointment.

Lucia grows from being an astute and observant child to an adventurous young woman who is thrilled to be exploring Rome and be courted by an Italian. When she falls in love, it appears that happiness is hers for the asking, until unstoppable forces intervene – in both her countries. With mounting tension, her tale leads through the rise of Fascism to the terrible moment in June 1940 when Mussolini declares war, and British Italians are interned. When hundreds are herded as ‘enemy aliens’ onto a ship bound for Canada, among their number are two of her brothers. Determined to tell their story before it is too late, and above all to pay tribute to her beloved Giulio and his passion for ice-cream, Lucia gives an account of one of the most shameful episodes in Britain’s Second World War.

Through his portrayal of Lucia’s singular vision and determination, Dan Gunn has created an unforgettable character who, while registering the buffets of history, is – just possibly – writing herself towards some overdue inner peace.

"Dan Gunn’s story of a family in Scotland torn apart by dark forces radiating out of Fascist Europe is wholly absorbing." ~ J. M. Coetzee, 2003 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature