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Louise Brooks: A Biography

Overview

The long-awaited republication of this captivating account of the star's life.

Louise Brooks left Wichita, Kansas, for New York City at age fifteen and lived the kind of life of which legends are made. From her beginnings as a dancer to her years in Hollywood, Berlin, and beyond, she was hailed and reviled as a new type of woman: independent, intellectually daring, and sexually free. In this widely acclaimed, first and only comprehensive biography, Barry Paris traces Brooks's ...

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Overview

The long-awaited republication of this captivating account of the star's life.

Louise Brooks left Wichita, Kansas, for New York City at age fifteen and lived the kind of life of which legends are made. From her beginnings as a dancer to her years in Hollywood, Berlin, and beyond, she was hailed and reviled as a new type of woman: independent, intellectually daring, and sexually free. In this widely acclaimed, first and only comprehensive biography, Barry Paris traces Brooks's trajectory from her childhood through her fall into obscurity and subsequent "resurrection" as a brilliant writer and enduring film icon.

"Star biographies don't get any better than Barry Paris's Louise Brooks." USA Today

"This account has the aphrodisiac gloss of Brooks herself: you meet the stare of a modern icon, a picture that taunts your inability to touch the real thing. A necessary and stimulating book, it is itself an important part of Brooks's life after death." The New Republic

"Absorbing, wonderfully well researched and, all in all, an exemplar of its kind." London Spectator

"Louise Brooks is not simply a summary of her movie plots and love affairs but a serious work of film and social history." New York Magazine

Barry Paris is an award-winning biographer, film and music critic, and contributor to the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and other publications. He lives in Pittsburgh.

Translation Inquiries: Alfred A. Knopf

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Editorial Reviews

Greil Marcus
Paris is superb, every detail opening onto another plane or almost subliminally doubling back to an incident charted a hundred pages earlier, the full weight of Brook's exile coming home with increasing power, right to the end of her life. The second half of the book is riveting: complex, subtle, noisy, finally quiet. You don¹t care that Paris can't solve the mystery. You care that a woman lived a life that made it.
—California Magazine
John Simon
Paris has researched and reported faithfully every aspect of Brooks¹s life. The story he tells is fascinating not only for what it says about Brooks, but also for its generous sidelights on the whole jazz-and-flapper age.
—The Washington Post
Leonard Maltin
Unquestionably the film biography of the year is Barry Paris's Louise Brooks great, provocative reading.
—Leonard Maltin, ABC-TV Entertainment Tonight
Liz Smith
A sensational work‹it's a wow!
— New York Daily News
New York Outweek
Paris's book is the one the faithful have been waiting for. The research is exhaustive, the details scrupulously attended, and all enhanced by access to Brook¹s unpublished writing. The result is thorough, documented and tangible. Even better, Paris does Brooks two services that propel his book well past for-addicts-only status. He is savvy enough to grasp that half of the Brooks mythology is the setting, and he gives it to us up-close and in the round. But his wisest choice is his deference to Brook's own voice. He lets her larger statements about the human condition, her own and otherwise, speak for themselves. Brooks's story is Cinderella rewritten for the apocalypse, and Paris and Brooks tell it straight, twists included.
People Magazine
Thorough and fascinating
Premiere Magazine
The much-talked-about Louise Brooks is among the worthiest Hollywood bios of the year: a synthesis of exhaustive research, written with imaginative sympathy.
San Diego Tribune
A superb biography. Paris¹s definitive work shows us why Brooks belongs, if not in the pantheon of film stardom, in the front rank of 20th-century personalities.
The New Republic
A necessary and stimulating book, it is itself an important part of Brook's life after death.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816637812
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1ST UNIVER
  • Pages: 609
  • Sales rank: 419,036
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Act 1 Every Little Breeze 1
1 Flashbacks 3
2 Denishawn and the Silver Salver 33
3 Scandals 57
4 Follies 77
5 Moving in Pictures 95
6 The Myth of the Quintessential Flapper 121
7 Louise & "The Boy Director" 145
8 Paramount Importance 173
9 Every Little Breeze 197
10 "Does Mr. Hearst Know These People Are Here?" 231
11 Sound and Fury 249
Act 2 Lulu 275
12 The Legend of Lulu 279
13 The Lost Girl 315
14 Beauty Prize 335
15 Booby Prize 347
16 Lulu in Purgatory 389
17 Lulu in Hell 407
Act 3 Pandora's Books 437
18 Resurrection 439
19 Louise & Theo 475
20 The Cult 493
21 The End 523
Appendix Errata in Lulu in Hollywood 553
Chronological Bibliography of Articles by Louise Brooks 555
Louise Brooks Filmography 557
Acknowledgments 561
Bibliography 565
Notes 569
Index 585
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