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Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932
by Francine Prose


Overview -

A richly imagined and stunningly inventive literary masterpiece of love, art, and betrayal, exploring the genesis of evil, the unforeseen consequences of love, and the ultimate unreliability of storytelling itself.

Paris in the 1920s shimmers with excitement, dissipation, and freedom.  Read more...


 
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More About Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose
 
 
 
Overview

A richly imagined and stunningly inventive literary masterpiece of love, art, and betrayal, exploring the genesis of evil, the unforeseen consequences of love, and the ultimate unreliability of storytelling itself.

Paris in the 1920s shimmers with excitement, dissipation, and freedom. It is a place of intoxicating ambition, passion, art, and discontent, where louche jazz venues like the Chameleon Club draw expats, artists, libertines, and parvenus looking to indulge their true selves. It is at the Chameleon where the striking Lou Villars, an extraordinary athlete and scandalous cross-dressing lesbian, finds refuge among the club's loyal denizens, including the rising Hungarian photographer Gabor Tsenyi, the socialite and art patron Baroness Lily de Rossignol; and the caustic American writer Lionel Maine.

As the years pass, their fortunes--and the world itself--evolve. Lou falls desperately in love and finds success as a race car driver. Gabor builds his reputation with startlingly vivid and imaginative photographs, including a haunting portrait of Lou and her lover, which will resonate through all their lives. As the exuberant twenties give way to darker times, Lou experiences another metamorphosis--sparked by tumultuous events--that will warp her earnest desire for love and approval into something far more.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780061713804
  • ISBN-10: 0061713805
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • Publish Date: May 2015
  • Page Count: 464
  • Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds

Series: P.S. (Paperback)

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Historical - General
Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Biographical

 
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PARIS AFTER DARK
In her stunning novel Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932, Francine Prose offers up an intricate narrative filled with characters who dwell on the city’s margins. Lou Villars is a crossdressing lesbian and an athlete of exceptional ability. Her lover, the unscrupulous Arlette, is a performer. Together, they frequent a bar that flouts convention by welcoming gays and other unorthodox types. Recording the scene is Hungarian photographer Gabor Tsenyi, whose iconic photos of Paris nightlife come to symbolize the era. Prose tells their story over the course of her mesmerizing, multifaceted novel. Using a variety of narrative vehicles—including writings by expat American novelist Lionel Maine (a character based on Henry Miller)—Prose creates a captivating account of Lou’s life and the dark work she eventually does for the Nazis. Inspired by a Brassaï photo from the 1930s, Prose’s seductive tale of a permissive Paris between the wars is also a provocative exploration of identity and the search for acceptance.

TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
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This article was originally published in the May 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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