The Glimmer Palace
By Beatrice Colin
(Riverhead Hardcover, Hardcover, 9781594489853, 416pp.)
Publication Date: July 24, 2008
Other Editions of This Title: , Paperback
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In the tradition of Michel Faber and Sarah Waters, a literary historical novel about an orphan girl's journey from poverty to film stardom, set against the grand backdrop of World War I Berlin, the cabaret era, the run-up to World War II, and the innovations in art and industry that accompanied it all.
Big, rich, intelligent, and masterfully written, here is a page-turning story of glitter and splendor, drama and love, friendship and identity, and an illuminating account of a period of history that foreshadowed much of the twentieth century.
As the clock chimes the turn of the twentieth century, Lilly Nelly Aphrodite takes her first breath. The illegitimate, orphaned daughter of a cabaret performer, she finds early refuge at a Berlin Catholic orphanage. From there follows a lifetime of reinventions, from orphan to maid, war bride, tingle-tangle nightclub girl, and script typist. Her eventual transformation into one of Germany's leading silent-film stars, and a partner in a remarkable romance that crosses decades and continents, could ultimately cost her everything she has worked for.
Gripping and seductive like few other literary novels, The Glimmer Palace showcases the glamour, spectacle, and theatrical energy of the brief heyday of the Weimar Republic, while at the same time telling the story of that other great twentieth-century illusion--cinema.
Beatrice Colin was born in London and raised in Scotland. She is the author of The Glimmer Palace. She has worked as a freelance journalist, writing for publications including The Guardian, and as a playwright, writing radio plays for the BBC. She lives in Glasgow.