Violette Nozière: A Story of Murder in 1930s Paris

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9780520260702: Violette Nozière: A Story of Murder in 1930s Paris

On an August evening in 1933, in a quiet, working-class neighborhood in Paris, eighteen-year-old Violette Nozière gave her mother and father glasses of barbiturate-laced medication,” which she told them had been prescribed by the family doctor; one of her parents died, the other barely survived. Almost immediately Violette’s act of double parricide” became the most sensational private crime of the French interwar era discussed and debated so passionately that it was compared to the Dreyfus Affair. Why would the beloved only child of respectable parents do such a thing? To understand the motives behind this crime and the reasons for its extraordinary impact, Sarah Maza delves into the abundant case records, re-creating the daily existence of Parisians whose lives were touched by the affair. This compulsively readable book brilliantly evokes the texture of life in 1930s Paris. It also makes an important argument about French society and culture while proposing new understandings of crime and social class in the years before World War II.

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From the Inside Flap:

"Sarah Maza has written a vivid, gripping and clear-eyed account of the celebrated Violette Nozière case, which captivated French society in the 1930s. A bold and imaginative story, Violette Nozière opens an unexpected and revealing window onto interwar Parisian life." Colin Jones, author of Paris: Biography of a City

Sarah Maza's absorbing new book on Violette Nozière--flapper, fantasist, and perpetrator of one of the most sordid and sensational French homicides of the 1930s is a scholarly 'true crime' tale of the most intelligent sort. Why might a seemingly respectable little mademoiselle from a 'nice' bourgeois family want to poison her maman et papa at the breakfast table? Alongside her riveting account of the crime and its aftermath, Maza investigates the various pathologies familial, social, economic, cultural, psychosexual that may have figured in the mayhem. (At her trial Nozière claimed, among other things, that her father had sexually abused her for years.) The result is both a fascinating case history Greek tragedy rewritten as seedy policier and a chilling glimpse into the less salubrious aspects of French lower middle-class life between the wars.” Terry Castle, author of The Professor

"One of those rare and sophisticated works that tells a gripping story while evoking a complex historical period. There exist very few cultural histories of the interwar years." Carolyn Dean, author of Aversion and Erasure: The Fate of the Victim after the Holocaust

Sarah Maza's book tells an arresting story that deftly combines conventional social history with a subtle analysis of gender and culture. Using all the arts of the best storytellers, she is careful not to give too much away, and it is only with time and a remarkable conclusion that we realize that Violette Nozière is no ordinary tale.” Ruth Harris, author of Dreyfus: Politics, Emotion, and the Scandal of the Century

About the Author:

Sarah Maza is Jane Long Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History at Northwestern University. She is the author of many books including award winners Private Lives and Public Affairs: The Causes Célèbres of Prerevolutionary France (UC Press) and The Myth of the French Bourgeoisie: An Essay on the Social Imaginary, 1750-1850.

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Book Description University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. A Simpson Book in the Humanities.. 352 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. New book. CRIME. On an August evening in 1933, in a quiet, working-class neighborhood in Paris, eighteen-year-old Violette Nozire gave her mother and father glasses of barbiturate-laced "medication," which she told them had been prescribed by the family doctor; one of her parents died, the other barely survived. Almost immediately Violette's act of "double parricide" became the most sensational private crime of the French interwar eraÑdiscussed and debated so passionately that it was compared to the Dreyfus Affair. Why would the beloved only child of respectable parents do such a thing? To understand the motives behind this crime and the reasons for its extraordinary impact, Sarah Maza delves into the abundant case records, re-creating the daily existence of Parisians whose lives were touched by the affair. This compulsively readable book brilliantly evokes the texture of life in 1930s Paris. It also makes an important argument about French society and culture while proposing new understandings of crime and social class in the years before World War II. Sarah Maza is Jane Long Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History at Northwestern University. She is the author of many books including award winners Private Lives and Public Affairs: The Causes CŽlbres of Prerevolutionary France (UC Press) and The Myth of the French Bourgeoisie: An Essay on the Social Imaginary, 1750-1850. A well-researched and thoroughly readable account of French culture as revealed in a generally forgotten murder case."ÑChico News & Review "An academic history with a pulpy noir heart. . . . Fluently written and thoroughly researched, Maza contains 'a whole constellation of contemporary experience' in the wrenching story of the Nozires."ÑPublishers Weekly "Grittily cinematic."ÑVogue "Maza writes for students of French and women's history, but the story itself is so fascinating that general readers interested in crime and mystery will be enthralled by the intersection of sex and class at its heart."ÑLibrary Journal "Sarah Maza has written a vivid, gripping and clear-eyed account of the celebrated Violette Nozire case, which captivated French society in the 1930s. A bold and imaginative story, Violette Nozire opens an unexpected and revealing window onto interwar Parisian life." Ñ Colin Jones, author of Paris: Biography of a City "Sarah Maza's absorbing new book on Violette Nozire--flapper, fantasist, and perpetrator of one of the most sordid and sensational French homicides of the 1930sÑis a scholarly 'true crime' tale of the most intelligent sort. Why might a seemingly respectable little mademoiselle from a 'nice' bourgeois family want to poison her maman et papa at the breakfast table? Alongside her riveting account of the crime and its aftermath, Maza investigates the various pathologiesÑfamilial, social, economic, cultural, psychosexualÑthat may have figured in the mayhem. (At her trial Nozire claimed, among other things, that her father had sexually abused her for years.) The result is both a fascinating case historyÑGreek tragedy rewritten as seedy policierÑand a chilling glimpse into the less salubrious aspects of French lower middle-class life between the wars." Ñ Terry Castle, author of The Professor "One of those rare and sophisticated works that tells a gripping story while evoking a complex historical period. There exist very few cultural histories of the interwar years."ÑCarolyn Dean, author of Aversion and Erasure: The Fate of the Victim after the Holocaust "Sarah Maza's book tells an arresting story that deftly combines conventional social history with a subtle analysis of gender and culture. Using all the arts of the best storytellers, she is careful not to give too much away, and it is only with time and a remarkable conclusion that we realize that Violette Nozire is no ordinary tale." Ñ Ruth Harris, author of Dreyfus: Politics, Emotion, and the Scandal of the Century. book. Bookseller Inventory # 72571X1

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On an August evening in 1933, in a quiet, working-class neighborhood in Paris, eighteen-year-old Violette Noziere gave her mother and father glasses of barbiturate-laced medication , which she told them had been prescribed by the family doctor; one of her parents died, the other barely survived. Almost immediately Violette s act of double parricide became the most sensational private crime of the French interwar era - discussed and debated so passionately that it was compared to the Dreyfus Affair. Why would the beloved only child of respectable parents do such a thing? To understand the motives behind this crime and the reasons for its extraordinary impact, Sarah Maza delves into the abundant case records, re-creating the daily existence of Parisians whose lives were touched by the affair. This compulsively readable book brilliantly evokes the texture of life in 1930s Paris. It also makes an important argument about French society and culture while proposing new understandings of crime and social class in the years before World War II. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780520260702

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On an August evening in 1933, in a quiet, working-class neighborhood in Paris, eighteen-year-old Violette Noziere gave her mother and father glasses of barbiturate-laced medication , which she told them had been prescribed by the family doctor; one of her parents died, the other barely survived. Almost immediately Violette s act of double parricide became the most sensational private crime of the French interwar era - discussed and debated so passionately that it was compared to the Dreyfus Affair. Why would the beloved only child of respectable parents do such a thing? To understand the motives behind this crime and the reasons for its extraordinary impact, Sarah Maza delves into the abundant case records, re-creating the daily existence of Parisians whose lives were touched by the affair. This compulsively readable book brilliantly evokes the texture of life in 1930s Paris. It also makes an important argument about French society and culture while proposing new understandings of crime and social class in the years before World War II. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780520260702

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