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In Good Bones, first published in 1992, Margaret Atwood has fashioned an enthralling collection of parable, monologue, mini-romance and mini-biography, speculative fiction, prose lyric, outrageous recipe and reconfigured fairy tale, demonstrating yet again the play of an unerring wit overseen by a panoramic intelligence. Good Bones is a cornucopia of good things -- precise, witty, wise, and sometimes offbeat Atwood writing, with the funny and the sidelong view of the world which her readers recognize at once.
Drawing upon a broad array of examples, from Jane Eyre to the legend of Frida Kahlo, the author examines women's expectations of love and romance. She argues that women are culturally programmed for romantic obsession, creating the love object rather than seeing him as the human being he is. She finds that romantic obsession is a means by which women discover themselves.
France, 1940. The once glittering boulevards of Paris teem with spies, collaborators, and the Gestapo now that France has fallen to Hitler's Wermacht. For AndrÉ Breton, Max Ernst, Victor Serge, Marc Chagall, Consuelo de Saint-ExupÉry, Remedios Varo, Benjamin PÉret, and scores of other cultural elite denounced as enemies of the Third Reich, fear and uncertainty define daily life. One wrong glance, one misplaced confidence, could mean arrest, deportation, and death. Their only salvation is the Villa Air-Bel, a chÂteau outside Marseille where a group of young people will go to extraordinary lengths to keep them alive. Financed by the Emergency Rescue Committee, a private American relief organization, unlikely heroes-feisty graduate student Miriam Davenport, Harvard-educated classical scholar Varian Fry, beautiful and compelling heiress Mary Jayne Gold, and brilliant young Socialist and survivor of the Battle of Dunkerque Danny BÉnÉdite and his British wife, Theo-cajole, outwit, and use every means possible to stave off the Nazis and newly installed Vichy government officials circling closer with each passing day. The chÂteau was a vibrant artistic salon, home to lively debates and clandestine affairs, to Sunday art auctions and subversive surrealist games. Relationships within the house were tense and arguments were common, but the will to survive kept the covert operation under wraps. Beyond the chÂteau's luscious faÇade war raged, yet hope reverberated within its halls. With the aid of their young rescuers, this diverse intelligentsia-intense, brilliant, and utterly terrified-was able to survive one of the darkest chapters of the twentieth century. Villa Air-Bel is a powerfully told, meticulously researched true story. Rosemary Sullivan explores the diaries, memoirs, and letters of the individuals involved while uncovering their private worlds and the web of relationships they developed. Filled with suspense, drama, and intrigue, Villa Air-Bel is an excellent work of narrative nonfiction that delves into a fascinating albeit hidden saga in our recent history.
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