Shocked by Patricia Volk
My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me

92%

5 Critic Reviews

It’s a time machine laden with long-lost physical objects...a meditation on the plastic possibilities of womankind and a very special treat.
-NY Times

Synopsis

From the acclaimed author of Stuffed: an intimate, richly illustrated memoir, written with charm and panache, that juxtaposes two fascinating lives—the iconoclastic designer Elsa Schiaparelli and the author’s own mother—to explore how a girl fashions herself into a woman.

Audrey Morgen Volk, an upper-middle-class New Yorker, was a great beauty and the polished hostess at her family’s garment district restaurant. Elsa Schiaparelli—“Schiap”—the haute couture designer whose creations shocked the world, blurred the line between fashion and art, and believed that everything, even a button, has the potential to delight.

Audrey’s daughter Patricia read Schiap’s autobiography, Shocking Life, at a tender age, and was transformed by it. These two women—volatile, opinionated, and brilliant each in her own way—offered Patricia contrasting lessons about womanhood and personal style that allowed her to plot her own course.

Moving seamlessly between the Volks’ Manhattan and Florida milieux and Schiap’s life in Rome and Paris (among friends such as Dalí, Duchamp, and Picasso), Shocked weaves Audrey’s traditional notions of domesticity with Schiaparelli’s often outrageous ideas into a marvel-filled, meditation on beauty, and on being a daughter, sister, and mother, while demonstrating how a single book can change a life.
 

About Patricia Volk

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Patricia Volk is the author of the memoir Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family and four works of fiction. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, she has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and Playboy. She lives in New York City.







Author Residence: New York, NY







Author Hometown: New York, NY
 
Published April 2, 2013 by Vintage. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Shocked
All: 5 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Alexandra Jacobs on May 31 2013

It’s a time machine laden with long-lost physical objects...a meditation on the plastic possibilities of womankind and a very special treat.

Read Full Review of Shocked: My Mother, Schiapare... | See more reviews from NY Times

WSJ online

Excellent
Reviewed by MOIRA HODGSON on Apr 05 2013

Ms. Volk's delightful book draws you in right at the start with a scene familiar to many a young girl...

Read Full Review of Shocked: My Mother, Schiapare... | See more reviews from WSJ online

NPR

Excellent
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Apr 09 2013

I cannot tell you...how much fun this memoir is to read. Volk has caught something of Schiaparelli's surrealist approach to art...

Read Full Review of Shocked: My Mother, Schiapare... | See more reviews from NPR

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Heller McAlpin on Apr 02 2013

Shocked is rich in quirky, affectionate details like that extravagant gift wrap, and amusing family photos...But on a deeper level, Volk's concern is with the options open to pre-feminist women.

Read Full Review of Shocked: My Mother, Schiapare... | See more reviews from NPR

NY Journal of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Vinton Rafe McCabe on Apr 02 2013

Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me is a brilliant thing, well considered, well wrought, and wonderfully well written.

Read Full Review of Shocked: My Mother, Schiapare... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Reader Rating for Shocked
78%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 113 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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