Francine Prose | Regulator Bookshop | Page: Readings & Signings | Indy Week
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Francine Prose 

When: Wed., May 7, 7 p.m. 2014

Apparently, a picture is worth well over 1,000 words—448 pages, to be exact. "Lesbian Couple at Le Monocle, 1932" is a Brassaï photograph of two women sitting at a nightclub table, one in a dress, the other wearing a masculine suit and hairstyle. When writer Francine Prose saw the photo at a museum, she learned from the wall text that the latter subject, Violette Morris, was a professional athlete who worked for the German Gestapo in occupied Paris and was later assassinated by the French Resistance. This remarkable story catalyzed the ambitious new novel Lovers at the Chameleon Club: Paris 1932, where Prose, through research and imagination, explores how an auto racer whose competition license was revoked by the French government for cross-dressing became a Nazi collaborator and spy. A chorus of fictionalized historical voices conjures the glamor and squalor of the Parisian demimonde during the buildup to World War II, a good match for Prose's light-footed yet erudite writing style. —Brian Howe

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