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Considered one of the most subtle and beautifully written lesbian novels of the century, this 1949 classic returns to print in a Cleis Press edition.
Dorothy Strachey’s classic Olivia captures the awakening passions of an English adolescent sent away for a year to a small finishing school outside Paris. The innocent but watchful Olivia develops an infatuation for her headmistress, Mlle. Julie, and through this screen of love observes the tense romance between Mlle. Julie and the other head of the school, Mlle. Cara, in its final months.
Although not strictly autobiographical, Olivia draws on the author’s experiences at finishing schools run by the charismatic Mlle. Marie Souvestre, whose influence lived on through former students like Natalie Barney and Eleanor Roosevelt. Olivia was dedicated to the memory of Strachey’s friend Virginia Woolf and published to acclaim in 1949. Colette wrote the screenplay for the 1951 film adaptation of the novel. In 1999, Olivia was included on the Publishing Triangle’s widely publicized list of the 100 Best Gay and Lesbian Novels of the 20th Century.
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Dorothy Strachey (1865-1960) was the sister of the novelist Lytton Strachey and a prominent member of the Bloomsbury Group. She was Andre Gide's main English translator. Olivia, originally published under a pseudonym, is her only novel.Review:
"Perfectly captures the breathless excitement of adolescent passion" * Sarah Waters * "A remarkable novel which is unique in its presentation of the female mind and emotions in teachers and pupils at a girls' school. It has a strange combination of strength and delicacy" * The Times * "It is the story of an overheated emotional glasshouse, of an awakening and febrile yearnings, of the anguished decoding of tiny signals of intention from the beloved, of fervid alliances and bitter jealousies between two factions of girls, and the falling out of the two teachers they adore, with a shattering conclusion" * Guardian * "The chapter from Dorothy Strachey's Olivia, which deals with the well-worn topic of a schoolgirl's love for her teacher, seems fresh and beautifully done" -- Julie Burchill * Sunday Times * "A narrative of sheer emotion... Olivia achieves the purity of classic tragedy" * New York Times Book Review *
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Book Description Cleis Press, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111573442429
Book Description Cleis Press, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB1573442429
Book Description Cleis Press. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 1573442429 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0675442