Studio Saint-Ex by Ania Szado

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With so much invested in its challenging fashion plot and such attention-grabbing historical personae for characters, Studio Saint-Ex leaves itself little defence to charges of imaginary parasitism.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

A sleek, stylish novel set in the sophisticated, dazzling New York of the 1940s, between the shock of Pearl Harbor and the first landing of American troops in Europe—a deft, romantic novel about a wartime triangle involving a twenty-two-year-old fashion designer poised to launch her promising career . . . the acclaimed French expatriate writer/war pilot, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who’s fled his Nazi-occupied country and come to Manhattan for a month, only to stay for two years . . . and his beautiful, estranged Salvadoran wife, the tempestuous, vain Consuelo, determined to win back her husband at all costs—and seductions.

With Paris under occupation by Hitler’s troops, New York’s Mayor La Guardia has vowed to turn his city into the new fashion capital of the world. A handful of American designers are set to become the industry’s first names, and Mignonne Lachapelle is determined to be among them. Her ambition and ethics are clear and uncomplicated, until she falls for the celebrated and tormented adventurer Captain Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who, six months after the surrender of France, has fled Europe’s ashen skies after flying near-suicidal reconnaissance missions for the French Air Force. In New York, he writes a new book on the fall of France, Flight to Arras (it becomes a number-one best seller) and collects (a year late) his 1939 National Book Award for his Wind, Sand and Stars, a poetic account of his flying escapades over North Africa and South America (by the time of his arrival in New York, in early 1941, the book has sold 250,000 copies). To distract himself from his malaise about France and at being in exile, and at his publisher’s offhand suggestion, he begins work on a children’s story about a “petit bonhomme” in the Sahara Desert . . .

Nothing about Mig’s relationship with Saint-Ex is simple, not his turmoil and unhappiness about being in New York and grounded from wartime skies, nor Mig’s tempestuous sexual encounter with Antoine and the blurring boundaries of their artistic pursuits, ­or Saint-Exupéry’s wife who insidiously entangles Mig in her schemes to reclaim her husband. The greatest complication of Mig’s bond with Saint-Exupéry comes in the form of a deceptively simple manuscript: Antoine’s work in progress about a little boy, a prince, who’s fallen to earth on a journey across the planets . . .

An irresistible novel that brings to life the complex, now almost mythic Saint-Exupéry and the glittering life of wartime New York.

This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide. 

 

About Ania Szado

See more books from this Author
Ania Szado graduated from the Ontario College of Art and the University of British Columbia. Her first novel, Beginning of Was, was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Her writing has appeared in numerous periodicals, including The Globe and Mail, Flare, and This Magazine. She lives in Toronto.


Author Residence: Toronto, Ontario


Author Hometown: Hamilton, Ontario
 
Published June 4, 2013 by Knopf. 369 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Studio Saint-Ex
All: 5 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 3

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Jun 03 2013

Neither Szado's shifting points-of-view nor movements through time are seamless, but the love of story within the story is redeeming.

Read Full Review of Studio Saint-Ex | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Kirkus

Good
on May 04 2013

High fashion and high drama coexist in equal measure in this insightful novel.

Read Full Review of Studio Saint-Ex | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Tom Young on Jun 04 2013

...even readers unfamiliar with Saint-Ex’s writing will come to know him well in this book. Ms. Szado draws all of her characters deeply and deftly...

Read Full Review of Studio Saint-Ex | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Darryl Whetter on Apr 12 2013

With so much invested in its challenging fashion plot and such attention-grabbing historical personae for characters, Studio Saint-Ex leaves itself little defence to charges of imaginary parasitism.

Read Full Review of Studio Saint-Ex | See more reviews from National Post arts

National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Darryl Whetter on Apr 12 2013

With so much invested in its challenging fashion plot and such attention-grabbing historical personae for characters, Studio Saint-Ex leaves itself little defence to charges of imaginary parasitism.

Read Full Review of Studio Saint-Ex | See more reviews from National Post arts

Reader Rating for Studio Saint-Ex
62%

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