Clara and Mr. Tiffany

By Susan Vreeland
(Random House Trade, Paperback, 9780812980189, 423pp.)

Publication Date: March 20, 2012

List Price: $16.00*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Summer 2012 Reading Group
“This compelling novel tells the story of Clara Driscoll who is employed by Louis Tiffany during New York City's 'Gilded Age.' As head of his glasswork's women's department, she achieves recognition for her design for the first leaded stained glass lamp. However, her desire for artistic success and personal happiness is thwarted by Tiffany's company policy against hiring married females. Vreeland masterfully shows an emotional picture of the glamorous world of the privileged class as set against the poverty of immigrants struggling to sustain hope and survive in their 'new world'. A must read!”
-- Carol Hicks, Bookshelf At Hooligan Rocks, Truckee, CA


It's 1893, and at the Chicago World's Fair, Louis Comfort Tiffany makes his debut with a luminous exhibition of innovative stained-glass windows that he hopes will earn him a place on the international artistic stage. But behind the scenes in his New York studio is the freethinking Clara Driscoll, head of his women's division, who conceives of and designs nearly all of the iconic leaded-glass lamps for which Tiffany will long be remembered. Never publicly acknowledged, Clara struggles with her desire for artistic recognition and the seemingly insurmountable challenges that she faces as a professional woman. She also yearns for love and companionship, and is devoted in different ways to five men, including Tiffany, who enforces a strict policy: He does not employ married women. Ultimately, Clara must decide what makes her happiest--the professional world of her hands or the personal world of her heart.
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About the Author
SUSAN VREELAND grew up in California and taught high-school English in the San Diego school system for 30 years. She wrote a widely used student-writing handbook titled "What English Teachers Want", as well as two previous novels. Her short fiction has appeard in several literary journals, and she received "Inkwell Magazine's" Grand Prize for Fiction in 1999. She lives in San Diego.
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