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Naked at the Feast: The Biography of Josephine Baker

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'A biography of distinction, written with a graceful style rarely accorded to a show-biz subject' - Evening Standard 'An exciting close-up view of a magnificent artists and very courageous woman' - She Magazine Josephine Baker was the very essence of Paris in the riotous 20s. Hemingway danced cheek to cheek with her, proclaiming her to be the most sensational woman anyone 'A biography of distinction, written with a graceful style rarely accorded to a show-biz subject' - Evening Standard 'An exciting close-up view of a magnificent artists and very courageous woman' - She Magazine Josephine Baker was the very essence of Paris in the riotous 20s. Hemingway danced cheek to cheek with her, proclaiming her to be the most sensational woman anyone had ever seen; Picasso painted her, Colette sent her fan letters; her name was linked with Mussolini, de Gaulle, Peron, Castro, Tito and the Pasha of Marrakesh. In this intimate and spell-binding biography, Lynn Haney uncovers the story of this remarkable and outrageous woman and the extraordinary figures in her circle. This is the story of a remarkable woman in a truly remarkable era.


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'A biography of distinction, written with a graceful style rarely accorded to a show-biz subject' - Evening Standard 'An exciting close-up view of a magnificent artists and very courageous woman' - She Magazine Josephine Baker was the very essence of Paris in the riotous 20s. Hemingway danced cheek to cheek with her, proclaiming her to be the most sensational woman anyone 'A biography of distinction, written with a graceful style rarely accorded to a show-biz subject' - Evening Standard 'An exciting close-up view of a magnificent artists and very courageous woman' - She Magazine Josephine Baker was the very essence of Paris in the riotous 20s. Hemingway danced cheek to cheek with her, proclaiming her to be the most sensational woman anyone had ever seen; Picasso painted her, Colette sent her fan letters; her name was linked with Mussolini, de Gaulle, Peron, Castro, Tito and the Pasha of Marrakesh. In this intimate and spell-binding biography, Lynn Haney uncovers the story of this remarkable and outrageous woman and the extraordinary figures in her circle. This is the story of a remarkable woman in a truly remarkable era.

30 review for Naked at the Feast: The Biography of Josephine Baker

  1. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    3.5 stars There's quite a few places where the narrator is intrusive and rather judgemental, but overall the story is told well. And what a story! What a life! Josephine Baker came from poor beginnings, encountered more than her share of troubles, but she sparkled. Full of life and jazz, she sang and danced, capturing the hearts of many. She also lied and cheated, but in such a childlike way few people held a grudge. Her life was a roller coaster, and quite a read. 3.5 stars There's quite a few places where the narrator is intrusive and rather judgemental, but overall the story is told well. And what a story! What a life! Josephine Baker came from poor beginnings, encountered more than her share of troubles, but she sparkled. Full of life and jazz, she sang and danced, capturing the hearts of many. She also lied and cheated, but in such a childlike way few people held a grudge. Her life was a roller coaster, and quite a read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    If you think that Josephine Baker was all about erotic dancing with bananas in Paris in the 1920s, then you're in for a surprise with this intelligent, measured biography. Her time in Paris was only one excerpt of her extraordinary life. Always seeming on the verge of poverty, Josephine, through passion and guile inveigled her way into the upper echelon of whatever society was catching her attention at the time. Grace Kelly, Eva Peron, Maurice Chevalier and other luminaries came to her rescue. H If you think that Josephine Baker was all about erotic dancing with bananas in Paris in the 1920s, then you're in for a surprise with this intelligent, measured biography. Her time in Paris was only one excerpt of her extraordinary life. Always seeming on the verge of poverty, Josephine, through passion and guile inveigled her way into the upper echelon of whatever society was catching her attention at the time. Grace Kelly, Eva Peron, Maurice Chevalier and other luminaries came to her rescue. However there was another side to Josephine Baker: she was a member of the French Underground for which she was awarded la Legion d'Honneur and later, involved in the Civil Rights movement in the US. In what could be described as pathological, Josephine adopted twelve children from different racial backgrounds into what she called her Rainbow Tribe. However, these were nor acts of altruism but to compensate for her own childlessness. Although some of the children idolized her, others resented her intermittent style of mothering. If, like me, you are curious to see what all the Josephine Baker fuss was about you can see pictures of her on YouTube, dancing with bananas. But best of all, watch her singing "J'a Deux Amours". Now that really is stunning!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Aileen

    Fascinating story of the rise of a young poor girl from St Louis who became the toast of Paris and the rest of Europe, meeting heads of state and royalty. She spied successfully for the French in North Africa during WW2, married four times and bought a chateau which she tried to turn into a centre of brotherhood, adopting 12 children from all over the world to form the core. As her fame grew, so did her ambitions and her money diminished. She grew desperate to raise more funds "to feed my childr Fascinating story of the rise of a young poor girl from St Louis who became the toast of Paris and the rest of Europe, meeting heads of state and royalty. She spied successfully for the French in North Africa during WW2, married four times and bought a chateau which she tried to turn into a centre of brotherhood, adopting 12 children from all over the world to form the core. As her fame grew, so did her ambitions and her money diminished. She grew desperate to raise more funds "to feed my children" whilst still living the life of the grande dame leaving debts in her wake. I began by admiring her climb to fame but she used people appalingly, including her husbands and people soon grew suspicious of her motives. She was an extremely interesting woman who could have done so much more if she'd just stopped to take the advice of those closest to her.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Medlibrarian

    It's mostly quite well written. The author has a tendency to exoticize and veers on the hagiographic, but as an overall biography, this is a decent read. It's mostly quite well written. The author has a tendency to exoticize and veers on the hagiographic, but as an overall biography, this is a decent read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Pam Carter-Wiley

    Against all odds, Josephine Baker made it to the top of the entertainment world in the post war Europe of the 20's. Celebrated, desired, and wealthy, she lived a life of luxury and excess there, while back in the U.S., she was considered an oddity at best, an uppity "negro" who didn't know her place and worse. The author writes about "La Bakaire" with style and verve befitting Josephine's own frenetic energy and talent. This book captures the excitement of the Jazz Age with glimpses into the liv Against all odds, Josephine Baker made it to the top of the entertainment world in the post war Europe of the 20's. Celebrated, desired, and wealthy, she lived a life of luxury and excess there, while back in the U.S., she was considered an oddity at best, an uppity "negro" who didn't know her place and worse. The author writes about "La Bakaire" with style and verve befitting Josephine's own frenetic energy and talent. This book captures the excitement of the Jazz Age with glimpses into the lives of many great writers, artists, and the top couturiers of Paris, who lavished their designs on Josephine so they would be seen on her incredible body. It continues into pre-war and WWII and the part Josephine played in helping the French Resistance, and so much more. If this weren't a biography it would be too incredible to believe. Not always making the best decisions, she sometimes paid heavily for her mistakes, as did others, but she lived her life with great courage and flair.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    Fascinating woman, incredible life - then why is this book so boring? Saw a television documentary ages ago about her and it was absolutely rivetting but this failed to capture the emotional rollercoaster that was her life.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    Didn't like the writing. Didn't finish it. Didn't like the writing. Didn't finish it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    Great.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Camilla

    I picked it up for next to nothing and I didn't even know who Josephine Baker was! I really enjoyed the book. I picked it up for next to nothing and I didn't even know who Josephine Baker was! I really enjoyed the book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    informative

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  12. 4 out of 5

    Steve Lock

  13. 5 out of 5

    N

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chuck

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sammy

  16. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Minto

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

  19. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Helms

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dantanian

  22. 5 out of 5

    ₵oincidental Ðandy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Frances

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hazel Mills

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ray Wilcockson

  28. 5 out of 5

    Santi Alaysius

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cat

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gary

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