Tuesday, 8 March 2011

As it's International Women's Day...

...I thought I'd write a quick post about the book I'm currently reading, seeing as it was written by a woman, 'n' all.

Janet Flanner was a New York journalist, acquainted with such luminaries as Dorothy Parker. In the early 1920s she settled in Paris with New York Tribune drama writer Solita Solano on, as the American National Biography Online puts it, 'the Left Bank of Paris near other American expatriates and lesbians'. From 1925 until 1975 she wrote a bi-weekly 'Letter from Paris' column above the pseudonym 'GenĂȘt' in the New Yorker magazine.

I hadn't heard of Flanner until late last year, when I was browsing through the Smithsonian National PortraitGallery's exhibition 'Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture' (Flanner appears in the section on modernism).

I ordered up the book from the local library, and have been not getting round to reading it for a couple of months now.  That's rather a shame - the writing is *wonderful*, and I know very little about the history of post-war France (its recovery from occupation and collaboration) so it's a good education, too. Sadly it's due back at the Library on Friday, and I still have 400+ pages to go.


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