The Ladies Almanack

The Ladies Almanack

by Djuna Barnes
     
 

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"Now this be a Tale of as fine a Wench as ever wet Bed. . . . Thus begins this Almanack, which all Ladies should carry about with them, as the Priest his Breviary, as the Cook his Recipes, as the Doctor his Physic, as the Bride her Fears, and as the Lion his Roar!"
Barnes's affectionate lampoon of the expatriate lesbian community in Paris was privately printed in

Overview

"Now this be a Tale of as fine a Wench as ever wet Bed. . . . Thus begins this Almanack, which all Ladies should carry about with them, as the Priest his Breviary, as the Cook his Recipes, as the Doctor his Physic, as the Bride her Fears, and as the Lion his Roar!"
Barnes's affectionate lampoon of the expatriate lesbian community in Paris was privately printed in 1928. Arranged by month, it records the life and loves of Dame Evangeline Musset (modeled after salon hostess Natalie Barney) in a robust style taken from Shakespeare and Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, and is illustrated throughout with Barnes's own drawings.
This new edition is a facsimile of the 1928 edition with the addition of an afterword providing details on the book's origins and a key to its real-life models.

"[I]f you are able to contain your cackling long enough to consider the truth underlying the jest, you will come away with an understanding of the dilemmas facing lesbians at the opening of the century. You'll find that they are not much different from the questions we grapple with today." (Lambda Book Report 12-91)

"As an 'Almanack,' the book celebrates the uniqueness of women . . . extolling their society with separatist sentiment not violent or radical so much as mirthful and delightful." (The Daily Helmsman 11-5-91)

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Reissued to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Djuna Barnes's birth, this tongue-in-cheek roman a clef (privately published in the 1920s) is about the openly lesbian and cosmopolitan community that flourished in Paris during the first and second decades of the century. The introduction is by Susan Sniader Lanser. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher

"Barnes... spoofed the gay and not so gay times of her circle in Ladies Almanack, but if she was able to lampoon it... then she was also able to celebrate it." --Jeanette Winterson

Dalkey Archive Press

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781161438642
Publisher:
Kessinger Publishing Company
Publication date:
05/23/2010
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.25(d)

Meet the Author

Djuna Barnes (1892-1982) was born in Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY, and worked as a journalist in New York before leaving the country to spend many years in Paris and London. She returned to New York in 1941, and lived in Greenwich Village until her death.

Steven Moore earned his Ph.D. at Rutgers University. He is a noted William Gaddis scholar and wrote "William Gaddis", the first comprehensive critical guide to his work, and "A Reader's Guide to William Gaddis's The Recognitions". Moore has edited a number of books, including "Beerspit Night and Cursing: The Correspondence of Charles Bukowski & Sheri Martinelli 1960-1967" and "In Recognition of William Gaddis". He has also contributed essays, articles, and reviews to a number of newspapers, journals, and magazines.

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