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Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s

Anne Sebba
Item #: D73373
Format: Paperback
Pages/Publication Date: 457 / 2016
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN: 9781474601733
Currently Unavailable

Paris under Nazi occupation was a place of fear, power, aggression, courage, deprivation, secrets, and betrayals. Danger lurked on every corner, and while Parisian men were fighting at the front or taken for slave labor in German factories, the women of Paris came face to face with their conquerors on a daily basis, as waitresses, shop assistants, or wives and mothers, increasingly desperate to feed their families as hunger became part of everyday life. When the Nazis and the puppet Vichy regime began rounding up Jews to ship east to concentration camps, the full horror of the war was brought home, and the choice between collaboration and resistance became unavoidable. Also the author of That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Anne Sebba illuminates the role of women in Occupied Paris, many of whom faced life-and-death decisions every day. She also considers the fierce reckoning after the war, between those who made peace with or, worse, helped the Nazis, and those who fought them in any way they could.

"A fascinating account of how the buildup to WWII, the war itself, and its aftermath marked the lives of Parisian women.... A standout social history."—Booklist (starred review)

"The further readers delve into the book, the more they'll become entranced.... Sebba's work delivers an intriguing perspective of an overlooked group during a time when all were tested beyond their limits."—Library Journal

"Wonderfully researched, this is an important retelling of Les Annees Noires in Paris which puts women's stories, and the complications of their lives under Occupation, centre stage. Sebba reminds us that we should listen and put ourselves in their shoes, before leaping immediately to judgement, and backs this up with testimonies from many women whose voices have remained unheard."—Kate Mosse


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