Clara and Mr. Tiffany

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

Publication Date: January 11, 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc, Paperback, Hardcover

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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
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the January 2011 Indie Next List


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.




Praise For Clara and Mr. Tiffany

PRAISE FOR SUSAN VREELAND

Clara and Mr. Tiffany

“The book brims with fascinating information about Tiffany's glassmaking and about New York as its gilded age gives way to a more progressive era. ...Vreeland's ability to make this complex historical novel as luminous as a Tiffany lamp is nothing less than remarkable.” — Washington Post
 
“Vreeland's writing is so graceful, her research so exhaustive, that a reader is enfolded in the world of Tiffany and Driscoll….fascinating.”  —  Los Angeles Times
 
“Vreeland offers a fascinating look at at turn-of-the-century New York City.” — People Magazine (4 stars)
 
“[H]ot as a glass factory…Give Vreeland credit for shedding light on a little-known slice of women’s history.”  —  USA Today
 
“You’ll never look at a Tiffany lamp or window the same way.” —  Daily Candy National  “Weekend Guide”
 
“Fascinating.”— Newark Star Ledger
 
“Vreeland has done a good job describing the tensions within the business and between creative artistry and a desire for a personal life… An interesting book about a woman deservedly rescued from obscurity.” —  Fredericksburg, Va. Free Star
 
“If you’re a fiction reader, you are going to want to pick up at least one of these early 2011 novels.”  —  The Christian Science Monitor, “5 Novels for the New Year”
 
“The author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue here imagines a woman torn between art and love in a novel based on the real-life creator of the iconic Tiffany lamps.” —  O Magazine, “10 Titles to Pick Up Now”
 
“Who knew Tiffany’s iconic lamp was designed by a woman? Perfect fodder for historical novelist Vreeland, who travels back to New York City’s Gilded Age to imagine how it all unfolded.”  —  Good Housekeeping

 
“Vreeland brings 1890s Manhattan to vibrant life…Vivid descriptions of window and lamp production will surely bring readers a new appreciation for stained glass.  And Clara’s battles for the rights of her female workers and for artistic originality versus mass production are compelling, as is her complicated relationship with Mr. Tiffany.  This charming woman is a memorable heroine and, just as Clara’s art enhanced the images of nature that it depicted, Vreeland’s illuminating vision of Clara’s story is a pleasure to experience.”  -  BookPage
 
 
 "As sparkling and alluring as the lost story of the woman who created the famed Tiffany glass lamps, Clara and Mr. Tiffany is a masterpiece of a novel.  In it fin de siècle New York jumps to life in all its gaudy and heartbreaking grandeur and opportunities.  As much a character study of a city and a time as of a woman, Susan Vreeland shows us the new technology that enabled people to craft the magnificent lamps so sought after today, and the artist’s eye of Clara Driscoll  that brought them to perfection."
-- Margaret George
 
 
“For the first time in my long life of reading novels, Susan Vreeland made me cry over the glory
of women's work. Clara and Mr. Tiffany is a noble and necessary book, lest we allow ourselves to
be ignorant of the struggle, courage, and vision of women who have come before us. Readers will never look at a Tiffany lamp or window in the same way again.”
      --Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab's Wife and Adam & Eve





Girl in Hyacinth Blue

 
“[A] beautifully written exploration of the power of art.”—Parade
 
“Stunning . . . haunting.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
Luncheon of the Boating Party
 
“A masterwork.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune
 
“Vreeland takes the big, bold brush-strokes of Renoir’s personal and artistic oeuvre and displays them with her usual vividness in this eponymous novel. . . . Sensual and provocative.”—Baltimore Sun

“The book brims with fascinating information about Tiffany's glassmaking and about New York as its gilded age gives way to a more progressive era. ...Vreeland's ability to make this complex historical novel as luminous as a Tiffany lamp is nothing less than remarkable.” — Washington Post
 
“Vreeland's writing is so graceful, her research so exhaustive, that a reader is enfolded in the world of Tiffany and Driscoll….fascinating.”  — Los Angeles Times
 
“Vreeland offers a fascinating look at at turn-of-the-century New York City.” — People Magazine (4 stars)
 
“[H]ot as a glass factory…Give Vreeland credit for shedding light on a little-known slice of women’s history.”  — USA Today
 
“You’ll never look at a Tiffany lamp or window the same way.” — Daily Candy National  “Weekend Guide”
 
“Fascinating.”— Newark Star Ledger
 
“Vreeland has done a good job describing the tensions within the business and between creative artistry and a desire for a personal life… An interesting book about a woman deservedly rescued from obscurity.” — Fredericksburg, Va. Free Star
 
“If you’re a fiction reader, you are going to want to pick up at least one of these early 2011 novels.”  — The Christian Science Monitor, “5 Novels for the New Year”
 
“The author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue here imagines a woman torn between art and love in a novel based on the real-life creator of the iconic Tiffany lamps.” — O Magazine, “10 Titles to Pick Up Now”
 
“Who knew Tiffany’s iconic lamp was designed by a woman? Perfect fodder for historical novelist Vreeland, who travels back to New York City’s Gilded Age to imagine how it all unfolded.”  — Good Housekeeping
 
 
“Vreeland brings 1890s Manhattan to vibrant life…Vivid descriptions of window and lamp production will surely bring readers a new appreciation for stained glass.  And Clara’s battles for the rights of her female workers and for artistic originality versus mass production are compelling, as is her complicated relationship with Mr. Tiffany.  This charming woman is a memorable heroine and, just as Clara’s art enhanced the images of nature that it depicted, Vreeland’s illuminating vision of Clara’s story is a pleasure to experience.”  -  BookPage
 
 
 "As sparkling and alluring as the lost story of the woman who created the famed Tiffany glass lamps, Clara and Mr. Tiffany is a masterpiece of a novel.  In it fin de siècle New York jumps to life in all its gaudy and heartbreaking grandeur and opportunities.  As much a character study of a city and a time as of a woman, Susan Vreeland shows us the new technology that enabled people to craft the magnificent lamps so sought after today, and the artist’s eye of Clara Driscoll  that brought them to perfection."
-- Margaret George
 
 
“For the first time in my long life of reading novels, Susan Vreeland made me cry over the glory
of women's work. Clara and Mr. Tiffany is a noble and necessary book, lest we allow ourselves to
be ignorant of the struggle, courage, and vision of women who have come before us. Readers will never look at a Tiffany lamp or window in the same way again.”
      --Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab's Wife and Adam & Eve

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