Ornament and Silence: Essays on Women's Lives from Edith Wharton to Germaine Greer
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In paperback, by Kennedy Fraser
"A brilliant collection.... Ms. Fraser does the greatest honor a writer can do people: she brings them alive". -- The New York Times Book Review
Kennedy Fraser brings to the fourteen essays in this indispensable volume the sensitivity, freshness of observation, and offhand elegance that made her fashion reportage for The New Yorker so legendary.
In Ornament and Silence, Fraser writes about women as independent luminaries and supporting players in the lives of famous men, as solitary figures or as wives, lovers, daughters and sisters. We see how Virginia Woolf was haunted and eventually destroyed by the sexual secrets of her childhood. We meet Flaubert's mistress, Louise Colet, the one woman who could briefly slip past the master's misogyny. Fraser offers vibrant portraits of the Russian novelist Nina Berberova and the English naturalist Miriam Rothschild. And here is Fraser herself, learning her craft at The New Yorker, tending her English garden and -- on every page -- delighting us with the manifold felicities of her prose.
"A wonderfully idiosyncratic set of essays on women famous and unknown whose public and private lives Fraser examines with great feeling and exactitude...insight, intelligence, and grace". -- Newsday