No Modernism without Lesbians with Diana Souhami
Date(s) - Wednesday, 10th June
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Five Leaves Bookshop
The extraordinary story of how a singular group of women in a pivotal time and place – Paris – Between the Wars – fostered the birth of the Modernist movement.
Beach, Bryher, Natalie Barney, and Gertrude Stein. A trailblazing publisher; a patron of artists; a society hostess; a ground-breaking writer. They were all women who loved women. They rejected the patriarchy and made lives of their own – forming a community around them in Paris.
Modernism happened in Paris, and these women were Paris. Shocking, free, blatant, they weren’t just expats. They’d grouped together to create their own world, far from the restrictions of home. They were talented, often well-off, and lesbian. They answered to only themselves. Among them was Sylvia Beach, the American who set up the legendary Shakespeare & Co in 1919 and published Joyce’s Ulysses when nobody else dared to, as well as Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness which was burned in Britain. The shop became the unofficial meeting place of the Modernists.
Each of these four central women interacted with a myriad of others, some of the most influential, most entertaining, most shocking and most brilliant figures of the age. Diana Souhami weaves their stories into those of the four central women to create a vivid moving tapestry of life among the Modernists in pre-War Paris.
Diana Souhami is the author of Gluck: Her Biography, Gertrude and Alice, Greta and Cecil, The Trials of Radclyffe Hall (shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize for Biography and winner of the US Lambda Literary Award), Wild Girls, the bestselling Mrs Keppel and Her Daughter (also winner of the Lambda Literary Award and a New York Times `Notable Book of the Year’), Selkirk’s Island (winner of the Whitbread Biography award), Coconut Chaos, Edith Cavell (winner of the EDP-Jarrold East Anglian Book of the Year award), Murder at Wrotham Hill (shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association gold dagger for non-fiction) and the novel Gwendolen. She is a Rainbow List National Treasure.
£4.00 (£2.00 students) including refreshments, and redeemable against the book.