City of Girls (Paperback)Elizabeth Gilbert (author)
Revelling unabashedly in hedonism and excess, the characters in City of Girls are bursting with life and vigour. Vivian is seamstress to the showgirls of a revue bar in 1940s Manhattan, throwing herself in to the glamour of her new life with wild abandon. But there are dangerous choices to make and different identities to craft if she wants to survive in wartime New York.
It is the summer of 1940.
Nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris arrives in New York with her suitcase and sewing machine, exiled by her despairing parents. Although her quicksilver talents with a needle and commitment to mastering the perfect hair roll have been deemed insufficient for her to pass into her sophomore year of Vassar, she soon finds gainful employment as the self-appointed seamstress at the Lily Playhouse, her unconventional Aunt Peg's charmingly disreputable Manhattan revue theatre. There, Vivian quickly becomes the toast of the showgirls, transforming the trash and tinsel only fit for the cheap seats into creations for goddesses.
Exile in New York is no exile at all: here in this strange wartime city of girls, Vivian and her girlfriends mean to drink the heady highball of life itself to the last drop. And when the legendary English actress Edna Watson comes to the Lily to star in the company's most ambitious show ever, Vivian is entranced by the magic that follows in her wake. But there are hard lessons to be learned, and bitterly regrettable mistakes to be made. Vivian learns that to live the life she wants, she must live many lives, ceaselessly and ingeniously making them new.
'At some point in a woman's life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time. After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is,' she confides. And so Vivian sets forth her story, and that of the women around her - women who have lived as they truly are, out of step with a century that could never quite keep up with them.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 512
Weight: 353 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
'Gilbert's attention to detail and idoism is just as sharpehere as in her previous novel, and the dialogue reads like the script of a sassy screwball comedy' - The Observer
'As might be expected, the author of the international bestseller Eat, Pray, Love has written a brave-hearted story of a woman's sentimental education which is lashed with a salty wisdom and realism' - The Daily Mail
'A glorious, multilayered celebration of womanhood.' - The Guardian
'Wherever Liz Gilbert goes, we'll follow.' - Oprah magazine
'For years, I have wanted to write a novel about women who have a lot of sex, and who like it, and whose lives aren't destroyed by it," says Eat Pray Love author Gilbert. This is that book, set across the glittering fabric of a lost New York.' - Red
'Young women come of age in war time New York, in the new novel from the author of Eat, Pray, Love.' - Guardian
Praise for The Signature of All Things:
'Quite simply one of the best novels I have read in years.' - Elizabeth Day, Observer
'Irresistible.' - Helen Dunmore, The Times
'A straight-up storyteller who dares us into adventures of worldly discovery.' - Barbara Kingsolver, New York Times
'Charming and compelling ... A big novel in all senses with a powerful charm that will surely propel it towards the bestseller lists.' - Jane Shilling, Daily Telegraph
'Just read it ... Hugely enjoyable.' - Viv Groskop, Observer Books of the Year
'Filled with dazzling storytelling.' - Susie Boyt, Financial Times
'Ambitious, boldly imagined and packed with authenticating detail.' - Andrew Motion, Guardian
'By turns funny, flinty and incandescent.' - New Yorker
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