Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History

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Product Details

Price
$22.00
Publisher
Random House Trade
Publish Date
Pages
624
Dimensions
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.3 inches | 1.7 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780812981858

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About the Author

Rhonda K. Garelick writes on fashion, performance, art, and cultural politics. Her books include Rising Star: Dandyism, Gender, and Performance in the Fin de Siècle, Electric Salome: Loie Fuller's Performance of Modernism, and, as co-editor, Fabulous Harlequin: ORLAN and the Patchwork Self. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, New York Newsday, International Herald Tribune, and The Sydney Morning Herald, as well as in numerous journals and museum catalogs in the United States and Europe. She is a Guggenheim fellow and has also received awards from the Getty Research Institute, the Dedalus Foundation, the American Association of University Women, the Whiting Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies. Garelick received her B.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature and French from Yale University.

Reviews

"A detailed, wry and nuanced portrait of a complicated woman that leaves the reader in a state of utterly satisfying confusion--blissfully mesmerized and confounded by the reality of the human spirit."--The Washington Post

"Writing an exhaustive biography of Chanel is a challenge comparable to racing a four-horse chariot. . . . This makes the assured confidence with which [Rhonda K.] Garelick tells her story all the more remarkable."--The New York Review of Books

"This monumental biography . . . anchors Chanel's remarkable story within larger cultural, social, and political forces."--Library Journal (starred review)

"Broadly focused and beautifully written."--The Wall Street Journal

"Garelick can convincingly, and engagingly, illuminate a succession of parallels between fashion and politics."--The New York Times Book Review

"A true coup de grâce . . . a vital entry in the extensive library of Chanel scholarship."--Yale Alumni Magazine

"This is the definitive biography of Chanel. It is also the life of one of the most successful world conquerors who has ever imposed her will on a vast subject population. It is gripping, astute, and elegantly written. And if it leaves you leery of ever wearing a Chanel jacket, or carrying a Chanel bag, you will understand where the desire for it came from."--Judith Thurman, author of the National Book Award-winning Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller

"In this magisterial, affecting portrait, Rhonda K. Garelick traces Chanel's history as a woman and as a designer and in doing so illuminates the troubling contradictions of twentieth-century Europe. Her book is a masterwork of original research and psychological nuance, remarkable in combining insight into her subject with insight into modernity entire. It's a Jamesian portrait of the curious mix of sadness and sadism that loneliness can hatch. It is also a deeply moving exploration of a damaged, unhappy genius striving vainly for an elusive wholeness, and, by sheer force of will and vision, remaking the world's notion of elegance in her own image."--Andrew Solomon, author of the National Book Award-winning The Noonday Demon

"A stylish book about style, based on meticulous research and a deep understanding of French culture. Rhonda Garelick tells this extraordinary story with just the right blend of sympathy and judgment, in an utterly readable account."--Peter Brooks, author of Reading for the Plot and Henry James Goes to Paris

"Garelick expertly illuminates the forces that created one of the world's most iconic brands. Mademoiselle is a fascinating account of the grit as well as the glamour behind the rise of Coco Chanel."--Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana and A World on Fire

"Garelick explores the world of Coco Chanel in intimate--and intricate--detail, revealing the life and times of the woman she astutely describes as 'understanding how the right labels can govern desire.' This is a must-have book for followers of fashion and social history devotees alike."--Lindy Woodhead, author of War Paint and Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge

"Definitive . . . Cultural biographer Garelick . . . offers a fine psychological portrait of the poor orphaned girl [who] succeeded smashingly on her own terms."--Kirkus Reviews

"Delivers a probing, well-researched and insightful biography of this familiar but endlessly surprising figure."--Publishers Weekly