Flaneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London (Hardcover)

Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London

By Lauren Elkin

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9780374156046, 336pp.

Publication Date: February 28, 2017



An exhilarating, gender-bending walk through the lives of women who are enlivened by cities

A flaneuse is, in Lauren Elkin's words, a determined resourceful woman keenly attuned to the creative potential of the city, and the liberating possibilities of a good walk. Virginia Woolf called it street haunting, Holly Golightly epitomized it in Breakfast at Tiffany s, and Patti Smith did it in her own inimitable style in 1960s New York.

Part cultural meander, part memoir, Flaneuse traces the relationship between singular women and their cities as a way to map her own life a journey that begins in New York and takes us to Paris, via Venice, Tokyo, and London including the paths beaten by such flaneuses as the cross-dressing, nineteenth-century novelist George Sand, the Parisian artist Sophie Calle, the journalist Martha Gellhorn, and the writer Jean Rhys. With tenacity and insight, Elkin creates a mosaic of what urban settings have meant to women, charting through literature, art, history, and film women's sometimes liberating, sometimes fraught relationship to the metropolis.

About the Author

Lauren Elkin's essays have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times Book Review, frieze, and The Times Literary Supplement, and she is a contributing editor at The White Review. A native New Yorker, she moved to Paris in 2004. Currently living on the Right Bank after years on the Left, she can generally be found ambling around Belleville.