The Ladies' Paradise

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Overview

"The Ladies' Paradise" (Au Bonheur des Dames) recounts the development of the modern department store in late nineteenth-century Paris. The store is a symbol of capitalism, of the modern city, and of the bourgeois family; it is emblematic of consumer culture and the changes in sexual attitudes and class relations taking place at the end of the century. Octave Mouret, the store's owner-manager, masterfully exploits the desires of his female customers. In his private life as much as in business he is the great seducer. But when he falls in love with the innocent Denise Baudu, he discovers she is the only one of the salesgirls who refuses to be commodified. This new translation of the eleventh book in the Rougon-Macquart cycle captures the spirit of one of Zola's greatest novels of the modern city.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An excellent addition to [my] course.... It will be a permanent part of my syllabus!"--David Ortiz Jr., University of Arizona

"This book offers an excellent insight of Europe during the 19th century and the patriarchal society."--Maud Cox, College of Charleston

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520078673
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 12/5/1991
  • Series: World's Classics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 383
  • Sales rank: 1,062,312
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author


Émile Zola is the ever-popular author of Nana, Germinal, and many other novels. The Ladies' Paradise is the eleventh book in his Rougon-Macquart series, the "Natural and Social History of a Family under the Second Empire." Kristin Ross is Associate Professor of French Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

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    Posted September 1, 2009

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