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Local History

Local Author Takes Readers Back To Early Paris in New Book

A Springfield author takes readers back in time to an era in Parisian history not many people know of. KSMU's Kristian Kriner reports on his new book.

Author William LaPage's new book is called The Vague Terrain, which is set in early 20th Century Paris.

LaPage has been writing for several years, but this is his first major publication.

He says The Vague Terrain is about circus performers who live on the outskirts of Paris, and are hired to perform for people in Paris.

"The early 20th century in Paris, there was a fairground outside of Paris called the Terrain Vague and it's where gypsies, circus performers, you know, exiles people like that lived outside of society, but were then hired to perform for the people that lived within the city," LaPage said.

LaPage says the idea for the book came from his interest in French culture and his experiences living on the north side of Springfield near the fairgrounds.

"I had been interested a lot in early 20th Century French poetry and literature and painting and sort of the early modernist movement. And then I sort of stumbled across this idea and it related closely with my own personal experiences having grown up on the north side of Springfield near the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. And just watching sort of the precession of different events and people that kind of came through that area. Feeling like even though we were a part of Springfield and Springfield society that we were also on the outside as well," LaPage said.

LaPage will hold book signings for The Vague Terrain in Fayetteville, St. Louis, Kansas City, Tulsa and Austin, Texas.

He will also have a book signing at Ozarks Technical College in the Writing Center on Tuesday, April 29 from 6-7:30 PM.

For KSMU News, I'm Kristian Kriner.