Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s
Winner of the Franco-British Society Book Prize 2016 Echoes of the past continually resonate in modern-day France, because what happened here in the 1940s has left scars of such depth that many have not yet healed. June, 1940. German troops enter Paris and hoist the swastika over the Arc de Triomphe. The dark days of Occupation begin. How would you have survived? By collaborating with the Nazis, or risking the lives of you and your loved ones to resist? The women of Paris faced this dilemma every day - whether choosing between rations and the black market, or travelling on the Metro, where a German soldier had priority for a seat. Between the extremes of defiance and collusion was a vast moral grey area which all Parisiennes had to navigate in order to survive. Anne Sebba has sought out and interviewed scores of women, and brings us their unforgettable testimonies. Her fascinating cast includes both native Parisiennes and temporary residents: American women and Nazi wives; spies, mothers, mistresses, artists, fashion designers and aristocrats. The result is an enthralling account of life during the Second World War and in the years of recovery and recrimination that followed the Liberation of Paris in 1944. It is a story of fear, deprivation and secrets - and, as ever in the French capital, glamour and determination. ‘To read this book is to admire female bravery and resilience, but also to understand why the scars left by the Second World War still run so deep.’ – The Times A historian, lecturer, journalist and biographer, Anne Sebba’s award-winning books include That Woman, a biography of Wallis Simpson, and Les Parisiennes, an investigation into women’s lives in Paris during and immediately after the Second World War. Read more from the author about the unsung heroes of the Parisian resistance on the Waterstones blog.
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
- ISBN: 9781780226613
- Number of pages: 496
- Weight: 404g
- Dimensions: 198 x 133 x 30 mm