The Twilight Years
Paris in the 1930s
By William Wiser
(Basic Books, Hardcover, 9780786707867, 192pp.)
Publication Date: September 2000
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Categories: Europe - France
For the artists and expatriates, the aristocrats and arrivistes, Paris in the 1930s lost none of its magical allure, as this lavishly illustrated chronicle of a fascinating decade in the city's cultural history shows. At salons, galleries, palaces, and cafes, Henry Miller, Helena Rubinstein, Anais Nin, Coco Chanel, Salvador Dali, and Katherine Anne Porter joined illustrious exiles of the twenties like Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Beach, Pablo Picasso, Janet Flanner, and Man Ray. Jazz orchestrated the city nights, surrealism flourished, haute couture reinvented itself. James Joyce redefined modern literature with Finnegans Wake and at her Chez Josephine Baker redefined the derriere. In a lively narrative, which is accompanied by a superb selection of period photographs, the award-winning author William Wiser follows Elsa Schiaparelli, T. S. Eliot, Peggy Guggenheim, the Windsors, Collette, Jean Cocteau, and a host of other colorful celebrities and literary luminaries through the ten years that continued to foster the creative revolution of the expatriate era in Paris—an era that began extravagantly with Elsa Maxwell's famous masquerade ball and ended with perhaps the grimmest event in modern French history: the fall of Paris and the Nazi occupation in 1940.