Flaneuse : Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London
'Flaneuse [flanne-euhze], noun, from the French. Feminine form of flaneur [flanne-euhr], an idler, a dawdling observer, usually found in cities. That is an imaginary definition.' If the word flaneur conjures up visions of Baudelaire, boulevards and bohemia - then what exactly is a flaneuse? In this gloriously provocative and celebratory book, Lauren Elkin defines her as 'a determined resourceful woman keenly attuned to the creative potential of the city, and the liberating possibilities of a good walk.' Part cultural meander, part memoir, Flaneuse traces the relationship between the city and creativity through a journey that begins in New York and moves us to Paris, via Venice, Tokyo and London, exploring along the way the paths taken by the flaneuses who have lived and walked in those cities. From nineteenth-century novelist George Sand to artist Sophie Calle, from war correspondent Martha Gellhorn to film-maker Agnes Varda, Flaneuse considers what is at stake when a certain kind of light-footed woman encounters the city and changes her life, one step at a time.
"Marvellously eclectic and erudite memoir." Bookseller "Lauren Elkin is one of our most valuable critical thinkers - the Susan Sontag of her generation" -- Deborah Levy
Lauren Elkin's essays have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times Book Review, frieze, and the Times Literary Supplement, and she is a contributing editor at The White Review. A native New Yorker, she moved to Paris in 2004. Currently living on the Right Bank after years on the Left, she can generally be found ambling around Belleville.