Paris was a Woman – back in print!

We’re delighted to hear that Andre Weiss’ book, Paris was a Woman, is back in print.

Our founder Sian used to pore over this book in her local library as a teenager, learning all about the lives of women writers and artists in 1920s Paris – from Gertrude Stein to Colette.

Sian will be introducing our screening of the film Paris was a Woman at the festival on Saturday 14 March. Tickets will be on sale soon.

Meanwhile, here’s some info about the book:

Originally published more than twenty years ago and winner of a Lambda Literary Award, Paris Was a Woman is a rare profile of the female literati in Paris at the turn of the century. Now with a new preface and illustrations, this “scrapbook” of their work—along with Andrea Weiss’ lively commentary—highlights the political, social, and artistic lives of the renowned lesbian and bisexual Modernists, including Colette, Djuna Barnes, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Sylvia Beach, and many more.

Painstakingly researched and profusely illustrated, it is an enlightening account of women who between wars found their identities and their voices in Paris. A wealth of photographs, paintings, drawings, and literary fragments combine with Weiss’ revealing text to give an unparalleled insight into this extraordinary network of women for who Paris was neither mistress nor muse, but a different kind of woman.


“Energetic, discerning feminist scholars continue to introduce us to women of consequence, beckoning them out of the shadows onto the center stage. Andrea Weiss, with the eye of a documentary filmmaker, trains her camera on 28 women of the Left Bank, her “dramatis personae.”

Washington Post Book World

 “[In] Andrea Weiss’ enjoyable book… the bohemian world of Paris during the 1920s is more interestingly and accurately conceived as a community of women…She draws on a wealth of research [and] has a professional eye for what a photographic portrait is.”

The Times Literary Supplement

 “The strength of this book lies in its upbeat exploration of the pairings, connections, and
enabling gestures that briefly made Paris not a mistress but a gifted woman.”

Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society

 “Andrea Weiss has told the fascinating, less well known story of the remarkable women artists and writers who made pre-war Paris the cultural capital of the world–riveting!”

—Edmund White, author of Genet: A Biography, finalist for The Pulitzer Prize

 Paris Was a Woman is a classic Modernist cultural biography of the places and people who made Paris the center of the avant-garde universe in the 1920s. People are still to be seen clutching their (our) old copies outside the addresses where Gertrude and Alice and Djuna and Natalie, their lovers and their characters, changed and charged the atmosphere with sex and sexual politics, love, heartbreak and radical creativity. The book has always graced my classroom. Now a new generation will enjoy the source text of the Modernist feminine/feminist.”

— Jane Marcus, author of Virginia Woolf and the Languages of Patriarchy and Art and Anger: Reading Like a Woman



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