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Wild Girls: Paris, Sappho, and Art: The Lives and Loves of Natalie Barney and Romaine Brooks - Softcover

 
9780312366605: Wild Girls: Paris, Sappho, and Art: The Lives and Loves of Natalie Barney and Romaine Brooks
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Wild Girls is the critically acclaimed true story of two wealthy American heiresses---one an artist, the other a writer---whose stormy, passionate love affair captivated Paris’s salon set between the wars.

 

Natalie Barney and Romaine Brooks were rich, American, eccentric, and grandly lesbian. They met in Paris in 1915, and their relationship lasted more than fifty years, despite infidelity, separation, and temperamental differences. Romaine Brooks, a painter, was the product of an unhappy childhood and trusted no one but Natalie. Natalie Barney was passionate about life, sex, and love. Her Friday afternoon salons, attended by Gertrude Stein, and Colette and Edith Sitwell, were a magnet for social introductions and cultural innovations.

 

Drawing from letters, papers, and paintings, Diana Souhami, the award-winning author of Mrs. Keppel and Her Daughter, re-creates the lives and loves of this pair of dazzling and wild women.

 

“Epic romance . . . smartly sex-positive and so good-naturedly shocking.” 

---The New York Times Book Review

 

“Real tenderness and pathos . . . not only entertaining but affecting reading.”

---The Washington Post

 

“Their friends were the most bohemian, their parties the most risqué, their tortured love affair the most notorious in Europe. Diana Souhami tells a remarkable tale.”

---The Sunday Telegraph (UK)


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About the Author:
Diana Souhami is the author of many widely acclaimed books. She has also written plays for radio and television.
From Publishers Weekly:
Though poet Natalie Barney and artist Romaine Brooks rubbed (usually more than) elbows with the artistic elites of Bohemian Paris, neither achieved fame nor acclaim. So it is that Souhami (Mrs. Keppel and Her Daughter) focuses on their relationships with one another and their many lovers, producing a book that reads more like a lesbian soap opera than a biography. The author describes people each of the two American women encountered, but concentrates less on their interactions with one another than on Barney's affairs with, among many others, Liane de Pougy, Renee Vivien and Lily de Gramont. Barney "liked lots of sex, lavish display and theatricality, and wanted not to bind love to rules, particularly to the rule of exclusivity," Souhami explains. "She divided her amours into liaisons, demi-liaisons, and adventures, and called her nature fidele/infidele." By the time the discussion turns to Barney and Brooks-well past the book's halfway point-readers have been inundated with so many of Barney's flings that it is difficult to keep things straight. Souhami writes in short, declarative sentences ("Alice was seventeen. Her bereaved mother took her on a grand tour of Europe. Alice sketched impressions of Paris, Milan and Rome."), a style at odds with her libertine subjects that gives the impression she shortchanged texture and detail in favor of creating a tally of Barney's multitudinous rendezvous. Photos.
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  • PublisherSt. Martin's Griffin
  • Publication date2007
  • ISBN 10 0312366604
  • ISBN 13 9780312366605
  • BindingPaperback
  • Edition number1
  • Number of pages240
  • Rating

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