Flâneuse by Lauren Elkin
Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

...she sees only “two speeds of life … married or very, very young,” which makes me want to urge her to look harder, and not just through the lens of her own preoccupations. But “Flâneuse” is a stimulating read whose itinerary ranges from wanderlust and space as “a feminist issue” to self-definition in connection with a specific place.
-LA Times

Synopsis

The New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice

The flâneur is the quintessentially masculine figure of privilege and leisure who strides the capitals of the world with abandon. But it is the flâneuse who captures the imagination of the cultural critic Lauren Elkin. In her wonderfully gender-bending new book, the flâneuse is a “determined, resourceful individual keenly attuned to the creative potential of the city and the liberating possibilities of a good walk.” Virginia Woolf called it “street haunting”; Holly Golightly epitomized it in Breakfast at Tiffany’s; and Patti Smith did it in her own inimitable style in 1970s New York.

Part cultural meander, part memoir, Flâneuse takes us on a distinctly cosmopolitan jaunt that begins in New York, where Elkin grew up, and transports us to Paris via Venice, Tokyo, and London, all cities in which she’s lived. We are shown the paths beaten by such flâneuses as the cross-dressing nineteenth-century novelist George Sand, the Parisian artist Sophie Calle, the wartime correspondent Martha Gellhorn, and the writer Jean Rhys. With tenacity and insight, Elkin creates a mosaic of what urban settings have meant to women, charting through literature, art, history, and film the sometimes exhilarating, sometimes fraught relationship that women have with the metropolis.

Called “deliciously spiky and seditious” by The Guardian, Flâneuse will inspire you to light out for the great cities yourself.

 

About Lauren Elkin

See more books from this Author
Lauren Elkin is a Paris-based critic and novelist; her essays on books and culture have appeared in many publications, including The Guardian.
 
Published February 28, 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 338 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Flâneuse
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0

LA Times

Above average
Reviewed by Heller McAlpin on Feb 23 2017

...she sees only “two speeds of life … married or very, very young,” which makes me want to urge her to look harder, and not just through the lens of her own preoccupations. But “Flâneuse” is a stimulating read whose itinerary ranges from wanderlust and space as “a feminist issue” to self-definition in connection with a specific place.

Read Full Review of Flâneuse: Women Walk the City... | See more reviews from LA Times
×