Cleopatra's Nose by Judith Thurman
39 Varieties of Desire

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Cleopatra's Nose is an exuberant gathering of essays and profiles representing twenty years of Judith Thurman's celebrated writing, particularly her fascination with human vanity, femininity, and "women's work"--from haute couture to literature to commanding empires. The subjects are iconic (Jackie, the Brontës, Toni Morrison, Anne Frank) and multifarious (tofu and performance art, pornography and platform shoes, kimonos and bulimia); all inspire dazzling displays of craft, wit, penetration, and intelligence.  Here we find explorations of voracity: hunger for sex, food, experience, and transcendence; see how writers from Flaubert to Nadine Gordimer have engaged with history; meet eminent Victorians and the greats of fashion. Whether reporting on hairstyles, strolling the halls of power, or deftly unpacking novels and their writers, Thurman never fails to provoke, inspire, captivate, and enlighten. Cleopatra's Nose is an embarrassment of riches from one of our great literary journalists.

About Judith Thurman

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Judith Thurman is the author of Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller, winner of the National Book Award, and Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette. A staff writer at The New Yorker, she lives in New York City.
Published October 28, 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 448 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Cleopatra's Nose

Kirkus Reviews

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A motley collection of previously published essays on topics ranging from Anne Frank to Bill Blass, by a New Yorker staffer and biographer (Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette, 1999, etc.).

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Cleopatra's Nose: 39 Varietie...

The New York Times

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Judith Thurman’s essays address “the many ways for a woman to be lost, or to lose herself.”

Nov 11 2007 | Read Full Review of Cleopatra's Nose: 39 Varietie...

Star Tribune

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A collection of psychologically astute, penetrating essays and profiles from a witty and wily student of our desires.

Jan 18 2008 | Read Full Review of Cleopatra's Nose: 39 Varietie...

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