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Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London
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Published:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2017
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Available from OverDrive
Description

FINALIST FOR THE PEN/DIAMONSTEIN-SPIELVOGEL AWARD FOR THE ART OF THE ESSAY

A New York Times Notable Book of 2017

The flâneur is the quintessentially masculine figure of privilege and leisure who strides the capitals of the world with abandon. But it is the flâneuse who captures the imagination of the cultural critic Lauren Elkin. In her wonderfully gender-bending new book, the flâneuse is a "determined, resourceful individual 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 1970s New York.
Part cultural meander, part memoir, Flâneuse takes us on a distinctly cosmopolitan jaunt that begins in New York, where Elkin grew up, and transports us to Paris via Venice, Tokyo, and London, all cities in which she's lived. We are shown the paths beaten by such flâneuses as the cross-dressing nineteenth-century novelist George Sand, the Parisian artist Sophie Calle, the wartime correspondent 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 the sometimes exhilarating, sometimes fraught relationship that women have with the metropolis.
Called "deliciously spiky and seditious" by The Guardian, Flâneuse will inspire you to light out for the great cities yourself.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/28/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780374715892
ASIN:
B01J1EGZ18
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Lauren Elkin. (2017). Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Lauren Elkin. 2017. Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Lauren Elkin, Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Lauren Elkin. Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: 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.
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shortDescription

FINALIST FOR THE PEN/DIAMONSTEIN-SPIELVOGEL AWARD FOR THE ART OF THE ESSAY

A New York Times Notable Book of 2017

The flâneur is the quintessentially masculine figure of privilege and leisure who strides the capitals of the world with abandon. But it is the flâneuse who captures the imagination of the cultural critic Lauren Elkin. In her wonderfully gender-bending new book, the flâneuse is a "determined, resourceful individual 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 1970s New York.
Part cultural meander, part memoir, Flâneuse takes us on a distinctly cosmopolitan jaunt that begins in New York, where Elkin grew up, and transports us to Paris via Venice, Tokyo, and London, all cities in which she's...

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title
Flâneuse
fullDescription

FINALIST FOR THE PEN/DIAMONSTEIN-SPIELVOGEL AWARD FOR THE ART OF THE ESSAY

A New York Times Notable Book of 2017

The flâneur is the quintessentially masculine figure of privilege and leisure who strides the capitals of the world with abandon. But it is the flâneuse who captures the imagination of the cultural critic Lauren Elkin. In her wonderfully gender-bending new book, the flâneuse is a "determined, resourceful individual 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 1970s New York.
Part cultural meander, part memoir, Flâneuse takes us on a distinctly cosmopolitan jaunt that begins in New York, where Elkin grew up, and transports us to Paris via Venice, Tokyo, and London, all cities in which she's lived. We are shown the paths beaten by such flâneuses as the cross-dressing nineteenth-century novelist George Sand, the Parisian artist Sophie Calle, the wartime correspondent 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 the sometimes exhilarating, sometimes fraught relationship that women have with the metropolis.
Called "deliciously spiky and seditious" by The Guardian, Flâneuse will inspire you to light out for the great cities yourself.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Diane Johnson, The New York Times Book Review
      • content:

        "Absorbing . . . Elkin has an eye for the unexpected detail, as befits a flâneuse. . . It will be up to booksellers to figure out how to categorize her pastiche of travel writing, memoir, history and literary nonfiction. A reader, flaneusing along the bookshelves, will find in it some of the pleasures of each."

      • premium: False
      • source: Arnav Adhikari, The Atlantic
      • content: "At a moment when women's rights have come to significant national attention, Flâneuse also reads as a document of resilience, one that celebrates female figures fighting to be seen . . . Blending historical analysis, literary criticism, and memoir, Elkin seeks to re-define the concept of flânerie itself, and to reclaim the city for its women wanderers."
      • premium: False
      • source: Heller McAlpin, Los Angeles Times
      • content: "By focusing on six writers and artists . . . [Elkin's] book makes a forceful case for the genderless joy and vital importance of striking out for the territory--on foot . . . Flâneuse is a stimulating read whose itinerary ranges from wanderlust and space as a 'feminist issue' to self-definition in connection with a specific place."
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 15, 2016
        An American freelance essayist and translator living in Paris debuts with an appealing blend of memoir, scholarship, and cultural criticism.White Review contributing editor Elkin presents a feminine alteration of the French word flaneur ("one who wanders aimlessly") and uses both her own experiences and those of some noted writers and other artists to illustrate her principal thesis: that women have long needed to be as free to roam about, geographically and artistically, as men have been. "The portraits I paint here attest that the flaneuse is not merely a female flaneur," writes the author, "but a figure to be reckoned with, and inspired by, all on her own....She is a determined, resourceful individual keenly attuned to the creative potential of the city, and the liberating possibilities of a good walk." Elkin's own story runs through the text like a luminous thread. She tells us the woman-in-the-street stories of Jean Rhys, Virginia Woolf, George Sand, Sophie Calle, Agnes Varda, and Martha Gellhorn, but all sorts of other cultural figures appear, including Barthes, Rilke, Baudelaire, Hemingway, Derrida, Dickens, and numerous others. Elkin is frank about her own life, discussing a long, failed relationship--following him, she moved to Tokyo, where her initial unhappiness in the city transformed to deep affection--her ambivalence about leaving one city she loved, New York, which is near family and friends, for another she came to love even more: Paris. (She has become a French citizen.) Elkin also lived for a time in London and Venice, but though she loved both places, it is Paris now owning her heart. The pattern of her principal chapters is fairly steady: her own story mixed with sometimes overly detailed accounts of a notable woman associated with the city. These minibiographies and exegeses of the artists' work are occasionally heavier than casual readers may be willing to bear, but for the patient, there are the bright rewards of insight and new information. Enlightening walks through cities, cultural history, and a writer's heart and soul.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        December 1, 2016

        This is a book about wandering women, the author included, who build relationships with their cities by walking through them. Anyone who has taken a stroll down a city street knows how visceral the experience can be (as long as you're paying attention), but this is uniquely true for women, who have never had the advantage of a covert relationship with their city sidewalks. Unlike men, women are singularly visible, whether they were breaking norms of yesteryear by drifting without a chaperone, or are clipping around New York in modern-day heels. Women can and do make feminist statements simply by strolling through their stomping grounds; Elkin creates an interesting and inarguable case for this. She, too, is a wanderer and provides compelling anecdotes about her own journeys, interspersed with those of literary heavy-hitters George Sand, Jean Rhys, Virginia Woolf, and others. VERDICT At times the narrative feels dense and academic (with a hefty bibliography), but this is ultimately a celebration of women. You'll want to take a stroll by the end.--Erin Entrada Kelly, Philadelphia

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 5, 2018
        Actor Craden contributes a sprightly reading to the enjoyable audio edition of Elkin’s book, which blends memoir with history and cultural criticism. The narrative recounts Elkin’s research and travels following in the footsteps of several female creative geniuses who explored major cities of the world, gaining freedom and confidence through their peregrinations. Much of the book is Elkin’s memoirs of her own experiences wandering and living in five cities, and Craden successfully stands in for the author; she gamely captures the book’s overall tone, which is both sophisticated and youthful. She also uses a convincing French accent, which is valuable for the sections on artist Sophie Calle (b. 1953) and writer George Sand (1804–1876). Less successful is the stilted, not-quite-British voice she uses when quoting Virginia Woolf (1882–1941). It sounds awkward and self-conscious, which is ironic because the book is about women shedding convention and gaining independence and confidence. This misstep aside, the audiobook makes for an enjoyable nine hours of listening time, perfectly suited for traveling listeners who are embarking on a journey of their own. A Farrar, Straus and Giroux paperback.

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