A richly imagined and stunningly inventive literary masterpiece of love, art, and betrayal, exploring the genesis of evil, the unforeseen consequences of love, and the ultimate unreliability of storytelling itself
Paris in the 1920s shimmers with excitement, dissipation, and freedom. It is a place of intoxicating ambition, passion, art, and discontent, where louche jazz venues like the Chameleon Club draw expats, artists, libertines, and parvenus looking to indulge their true selves. It is at the Chameleon where the striking Lou Villars, an extraordinary athlete and scandalous cross-dressing lesbian, finds refuge among the club s loyal denizens, including the rising Hungarian photographer Gabor Tsenyi, the socialite and art patron Baroness Lily de Rossignol, and the caustic American writer Lionel Maine.
As the years pass, their fortunes and the world itself evolve. Lou falls desperately in love and finds success as a race car driver. Gabor builds his reputation with startlingly vivid and imaginative photographs, including a haunting portrait of Lou and her lover, which will resonate through all their lives. As the exuberant twenties give way to darker times, Lou experiences another metamorphosis sparked by tumultuous events that will warp her earnest desire for love and approval into something far more."
About the Author
Francine Prose is the author of sixteen novels, including "A Changed Man", winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and "Blue Angel", a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent works of nonfiction include the highly acclaimed "Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife", and the "New York Times" bestseller "Reading Like a Writer". A former president of PEN American Center and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Prose is a highly regarded critic and essayist, and has taught literature and writing for more than twenty years at major universities. She is a distinguished writer in residence at Bard College, and she lives in New York City.