Clara and Mr. Tiffany

By Susan Vreeland
(Random House, Hardcover, 9781400068166, 432pp.)

Publication Date: January 11, 2011

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the January 2011 Indie Next List
“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


Description

Against the unforgettable backdrop of New York near the turn of the twentieth century, from the Gilded Age world of formal balls and opera to the immigrant poverty of the Lower East Side, bestselling author Susan Vreeland again breathes life into a work of art in this extraordinary novel, which brings a woman once lost in the shadows into vivid color.

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, which he hopes will honor his family business and 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. Publicly unrecognized by Tiffany, Clara conceives of and designs nearly all of the iconic leaded-glass lamps for which he is long remembered.

Clara struggles with her desire for artistic recognition and the seemingly insurmountable challenges that she faces as a professional woman, which ultimately force her to protest against the company she has worked so hard to cultivate. She also yearns for love and companionship, and is devoted in different ways to five men, including Tiffany, who enforces to a strict policy: he does not hire married women, and any who do marry while under his employ must resign immediately. Eventually, like many women, Clara must decide what makes her happiest—the professional world of her hands or the personal world of her heart.




About the Author

Susan Vreeland is the New York Times bestselling author of five books, including Luncheon of the Boating Party, Life Studies, The Passion of Artemisia, The Forest Lover, and Girl in Hyacinth Blue. She lives in San Diego.

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