Hot Best Seller

Genêt: A Biography of Janet Flanner

Availability: Ready to download

The daughter of an Indianapolis mortician, Janet Flanner really began to live at the age of thirty, when she fled to Paris with her female lover. That was in 1921, a few years before she signed on as Paris correspondent for the New Yorker, taking the pseudonym Genêt. For half a century she described life on the Continent with matchless elegance.


Compare

The daughter of an Indianapolis mortician, Janet Flanner really began to live at the age of thirty, when she fled to Paris with her female lover. That was in 1921, a few years before she signed on as Paris correspondent for the New Yorker, taking the pseudonym Genêt. For half a century she described life on the Continent with matchless elegance.

30 review for Genêt: A Biography of Janet Flanner

  1. 5 out of 5

    Wayne

    I came to Janet Flanner via PARIS !!! "PARIS WAS YESTERDAY 1925 - 1939" was a book and BE Damned who had written it. (It was Janet Flanner of course!!) I was just one of many. I was sick sick sick for PARIS !!!! I bought music ABOUT...musicals and movie themes and OF Paris...French Chansons with Piaf, Trenet,Baker etc., etc. I'd already done the history of France and was mad about the Artists; and already read Colette and Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, started on Proust, sunk my teeth into Balzac an I came to Janet Flanner via PARIS !!! "PARIS WAS YESTERDAY 1925 - 1939" was a book and BE Damned who had written it. (It was Janet Flanner of course!!) I was just one of many. I was sick sick sick for PARIS !!!! I bought music ABOUT...musicals and movie themes and OF Paris...French Chansons with Piaf, Trenet,Baker etc., etc. I'd already done the history of France and was mad about the Artists; and already read Colette and Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, started on Proust, sunk my teeth into Balzac and Guy de Maupassant. I'd read about the culture too and when I finally landed in Paris for the First Time, in Winter, alone, lonely - but soon forgot THAT condition - was very quickly totally entranced and at home very soon ...Janet Flanner was an Unknown Prospect and a Future Treat. It was after that FIRST visit that I was sickkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk !!! Soon I came across "DARLINGISSIMA - Letters To a Friend". by.....yeah ! Janet Flanner !!! What FANTASTIC letters !!!!!!! (Oh! Yeah!!SHE'S the one who wrote all those articles about French Life in THAT collection I bought years ago.) I dragged out "PARIS WAS YESTERDAY" (NOW by Janet Flanner!!!) and REREAD it. I'd been back to Gay Paree and beyond in the meantime but had never tired of It; and Thankfully had settled for Reality. So no Longer SICK !!! AND THEN... along came Brenda Wineapple and "GENET". I was SO LUCKY to find this book in Australia ! I again don't give A DAMN about the faults, if any !!!! I DEVOURED it. I LOVED being back in Janet's Company; being back in PARIS with someone else who had loved it; learning some more about her that even her letters couldn't tell me. I'd made friends in France by now. I was yet to return to work in my Friends'Country Garden in the Loire. And soon will be off to live in their Village Home in Provence. Paris has been a bit displaced. I realise I prefer Rustic Solitudes and Mother Nature ...for France is a place as well as a city, and cultures change. BUT getting back to Brenda. She isn't,can't and won't supply you with the FIRST HAND JANET FLANNER. Come on !!! If an Aussie on the Underside of the Planet can find TWO BOOKS in her Own Voice, You Yankees must be sitting on a Veritable Minefield. What's more I even have a video of the TV show of the fabulous Book "PARIS WAS A WOMAN" in which Janet declares that Ernest Hemingway stole his style of writing from Gertrude Stein...in her wonderfully superb and gravelly voice.(I never have liked Ernie's overweening Ego.) And at the same time James Joyce was ripping off his GREATEST patron and first publisher...yes, ANOTHER woman, Sylvia Beach....and they were ALL Daughters of Sappho, which Proust would have LOVED, after all, just about EVERYONE in his Magnus Opus turned out to be tres Gai in the END. THE END.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides

    In 3.5 territory but definitely 4. The ending was a wee bit abrupt, and sad. An interesting but not perfect look at the life of an iconic writer. If you are interested in Paris, lesbians (as people and not objects), creative struggles, or some combination of the three, you must read this. In a nutshell: Midwestern girl runs away to the big city, discovers women, spends four decades mostly in Paris writing a letter for the New Yorker telling Americans about Paris. Has complicated relationships, i In 3.5 territory but definitely 4. The ending was a wee bit abrupt, and sad. An interesting but not perfect look at the life of an iconic writer. If you are interested in Paris, lesbians (as people and not objects), creative struggles, or some combination of the three, you must read this. In a nutshell: Midwestern girl runs away to the big city, discovers women, spends four decades mostly in Paris writing a letter for the New Yorker telling Americans about Paris. Has complicated relationships, is awarded the Legion d'Honneur, becomes grande dame of Americans in Paris, is finally widely appreciated near the end of her life even in her own country. This biography has a large cast, as it were, and their relationship to the narrator and to history is not always well explained. Examples: Bernard Berenson and Charles Bedaux. If some other reading I'd done hadn't made me aware of them, I'd have been confused as to why they were worthy of mention. Makes me wonder how much other context I was missing. (Berenson was an art advisor who had a significant impact on American collections, and Charles Bedaux was a French-born American efficiency expert who was suspected of collaboration with the Nazis; he later committed suicide because of this suspicion. If you're curious you can read more about him in Americans in Paris. And Berenson appears in Old Masters, New World:, if my memory serves me correctly.) The snippets of Flanner's writing that Wineapple presents were intriguing; I could wish there were more. (But I also have Paris Was Yesterday, 1925-1939 waiting to be read, so I suppose I can scratch that itch myself.) Wineapple did a good job consulting many sources and providing footnotes in citations. It was neat to learn that Flanner was one of the first to write about the Monuments Men: and the Nazis' art thefts during World War II - I think I should try and track that piece down in the New Yorker's back issues.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Maurynne Maxwell

    The style was too disengaged for me; I felt I was reading a reportage of a life. I wanted Flannery to live on the page, and there was not enough of her actual writing, whether letters from Paris or to friends, to make that happen. I felt that Nancy Cunard and Solano were far more intriguing. I understand that Flannery herself did not want to be revealed and the title of Genet becomes truly apropos, this was the face she wanted to present to the world. Yet the book ends with Flannery's own statem The style was too disengaged for me; I felt I was reading a reportage of a life. I wanted Flannery to live on the page, and there was not enough of her actual writing, whether letters from Paris or to friends, to make that happen. I felt that Nancy Cunard and Solano were far more intriguing. I understand that Flannery herself did not want to be revealed and the title of Genet becomes truly apropos, this was the face she wanted to present to the world. Yet the book ends with Flannery's own statement that she would rather be remembered for being kind than as a writer. She did do many kind things that are reported in the book, and I think she was certainly remembered in the hearts & minds of those who knew her. I know I read her work myself, growing up reading the New Yorker in the 60s & 70s. I think it is a case of, meticulous research duly noted, that despite her admiration of Flannery's style, the author did not really emotionally connect with the subject.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    Janet Flanner was a strong, independent woman who was not afraid to live her life to the fullest. She, along with her lover, Solita Solano, moved to Paris in the twenties and became a part of the most celebrated literary and artistic circles of the twentieth century. I originally became interested in her because of her association with Solano, who was a part of The Rope, a group of women who met and studied with G.I. Gurdjieff. I also read many of her papers in the Library of Congress, which for Janet Flanner was a strong, independent woman who was not afraid to live her life to the fullest. She, along with her lover, Solita Solano, moved to Paris in the twenties and became a part of the most celebrated literary and artistic circles of the twentieth century. I originally became interested in her because of her association with Solano, who was a part of The Rope, a group of women who met and studied with G.I. Gurdjieff. I also read many of her papers in the Library of Congress, which formed much of the source material of this book. In her scrapbook were handkerchiefs from Sarah Bernhardt and Amelia Earhart. Flanner's New Yorker columns were many people's main connection to life on the Continent, and she wrote in a unique style, which was sometimes light and airy, and sometimes grandiloquent. Wineapple does a fine job of tracing the life of this magnificent woman.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lelia

    I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Janet Flanner, learning about her encounters with Hemingway, Colette, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, her courage in leaving the U.S. to live her own life as a writer in Paris, and her decades-long relationships with three remarkable women. I'm struck in this biography, and in Diana Athill's memoir Instead of a Letter, by the way outward success does not prevent bouts of self-doubt, discouragement and a sense that one has done nothing with one's life. Fla I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Janet Flanner, learning about her encounters with Hemingway, Colette, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, her courage in leaving the U.S. to live her own life as a writer in Paris, and her decades-long relationships with three remarkable women. I'm struck in this biography, and in Diana Athill's memoir Instead of a Letter, by the way outward success does not prevent bouts of self-doubt, discouragement and a sense that one has done nothing with one's life. Flanner wrote for the New Yorker for 50 years and won the National Book Award in '66, yet she (or perhaps Wineapple) harps on "the familiar theme that she had not made sufficient use of her talent." I actually take heart knowing that self-doubt and uncertainty are universal, but Wineapple focuses so much attention on Flanner's diffidence about her writing and exhaustion from her grueling pace while offering only occasional glimpses of Janet's personable, fun-loving personality. It's not until page 279 that we learn that Janet's friends "enjoyed her mischievous side; she loved ribald humor and was not above an occasional lewd remark herself." Overall I greatly enjoyed this book and found Janet's curiosity and determination inspiring: "if her curiosity was piqued... there was apparently no stopping her."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  7. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  8. 5 out of 5

    Karen O

  9. 4 out of 5

    John

  10. 4 out of 5

    A

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tom K

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sonic

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Green

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shannon D

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ana

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  17. 4 out of 5

    William Simmons

  18. 4 out of 5

    A.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cate

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  21. 4 out of 5

    Janet

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gig

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alex Rasmussen

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Jones

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christine Stocke

  27. 4 out of 5

    David

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maire

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stephy

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...