Stock Image

The Great Good Place: American Expatriate Women in Paris.

Paris in the 1920s] Wiser, William.

10 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0393029999 / ISBN 13: 9780393029994
Published by Norton, New York, 1991
From Gregor Rare Books (Langley, WA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since 26 April 1997

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

A Fine copy in a Fine unclipped dust jacket. For the five American expatriate women profiled in Wiser's superb, sparkling group portrait, Paris was a social laboratory in which to lose or remake oneself. Mary Cassatt's fertile relationship with Degas gave way to her sour last years of exile in France, when she progressively lost her eyesight. Edith Wharton, cool-headed observer of society's ironies, flung herself into a dalliance with English journalist Morton Fullerton, who at the time was engaged to his first cousin, while Wharton neglected her own clinically depressed husband. Flapper Caresse Crosby shared the opium highs and sexual excesses of her poet husband Harry, then managed their Black Sun Press after his suicide. Daredevil Zelda Fitzgerald envied famous novelist husband F. Scott, who expropriated her mental breakdown as material for his fiction. Josephine Baker, illiterate teenage chorus girl from St. Louis, came closest to becoming a "changeling hybrid Parisienne." In marvelous vignettes, Wiser ( The Crazy Years ) creates an iridescent prism refracting the City of Light's special alchemy and ambiance. From Publisher's Weekly. Catalog Garnet. Bookseller Inventory # 23234

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Great Good Place: American Expatriate ...

Publisher: Norton, New York

Publication Date: 1991

Edition: First Printing of the First Edition.

About this title


From the middle of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th, Paris was that good place - the only place, it seemed, where an American woman of strong feeling, of artistic ambition of wayward impulse or sheer joie de vivre could be wholly herself. William Wiser draws portraits of five American women who made Paris their home: painter Mary Cassatt, novelist Edith Wharton, those mercurial gadabouts and tragic wives, Zelda Fitzgerald and Caresse Crosby, and the one and only Josephine Baker. Here also are fascinating cameos of Gertrude Stein, Janet Flanner, Sara Murphy and other luminaries, all set against and shaped by the spell of the City of Light. Paris meant possibilities. These five had utterly different responses to this freedom - but as Wiser shows, the web of connections among them was strong and Paris was its centre.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Dipping into the apparently endless stream of expatriate-in- Paris literature, Wiser (The Circle Tour, 1988, etc.; English/Univ. of Denver) offers a tiresome rehash of the lives of five intriguing women, all of whom have been better served elsewhere. In a narrative that spans the years 1844 through 1975, Wiser profiles Impressionist artist Mary Cassatt, author Edith Wharton, avant-garde publisher Caresse Crosby, doomed wife Zelda Fitzgerald, and entertainer Josephine Baker; all five passed significant portions of their lives in Paris. Along the way, there are stale musings about the beauty and social freedom of the city, and the usual cast of Paris-memoir characters (Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, Picasso, etc.). At the outset, Wiser explains that ``...I went looking for the common thread of connection to Paris, or to one another. There was no clear thread.'' The ensuing manuscript only emphasizes this point. There's no clear explanation of why these particular women should have their lives linked in one volume; no angle, apart from shared nationality and artistic leanings, to tie them together as subjects over whom Paris exerted a special pull. Cassatt arrived on her own, with grudging family approval. Wharton was fleeing a ``suffocating'' marriage. Crosby and Fitzgerald merely followed their husbands. Baker was lured from New York to star in a revue. Only Wharton and Crosby, sharing a common cousin, Walter Berry, had any sustained relationship, and a cold one at that. Four of the women liked dogs and couturier gowns, and three of them were buried in France. Not much there. Or here, for that matter. (Photographs--some seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

We operate an open shop at 197A Second Street in the beautiful waterfront Book Town of Langley, Washington on Whidbey Island just north of Seattle. We are open daily at 10:00 am; closing times are variable. Sunday's are by chance.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

If you don't see something in our inventory, feel free to let us know what your specific wants are. We have success in locating hard to find books.
TERMS: All items are subject to prior sale. All items are first printings
unless otherwise stated. Autographs are guaranteed to be authentic and items
are returnable for any reason within 7 days of receipt. Washington
state residence will be charged 8.7% state sales t...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 1 business day. Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Check Money Order Bank Draft Bank/Wire Transfer