Thursday, May 20, 2021

No Modernism Without Lesbians by Diana Souhami, from Head of Zeus Books - BOOK BEGINNINGS


I had such a fantastic week! My mom and sis and I spent four days at the Oregon coast on our first post-vaccine road trip and we had so much fun! I haven't been away from home overnight for 15 months so it felt very weird to be out of my house. But we rented an AirBnB house, the weather was lovely and the beach all but deserted, we ate delicious food, and I had a great new mystery book to read. I quickly remembered how much fun it is to go on vacation!

And now I am back and it is time again for Book Beginnings on Fridays, where book lovers share the opening sentence (or so) of the book they want to feature. Please share the link to your Book Beginning blog or social media post in the Linky box below. If you share on SM, please use the hashtag #BookBeginnings.


In the decades before the Second World War, many creative women who loved women fled the repressions and expectations of their home towns, such as Washington and London, and formed a like-minded community in Paris.  
Dianna Souhami's new history of 1920s Paris focusses on four women -- Sylvia Beach, Bryher, Natalie Barney, and Gertrude Stein -- who were at the center of the Modernist movement. I love the brash title!

Beach started the Shakespeare and Company bookstore and published James Joyce's Ulysses. Bryher was a novelist, magazine editor, and heiress who used her fortune to help struggling writers. Barney was a writer and influential salon hostess. Stein was a patron of the arts and avant-garde author.

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TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.


From No Modernism without Lesbians:
Moeller tried to explain the Freudian subconscious mind so as to help the court realize the intellectual underpinning of Ulysses. The judge asked him to speak in a language the court could understand.
-- Describing the obscenity trial following the original publication of Ulysses


  1. What a lovely getaway you had! Let's hope there are more in store for the rest of the year.

    Great book choice--cover, title, setting, and history--I'll be adding this book to my reading list.

  2. I love the sound of this book! Thanks for sharing...and your getaway sounded wonderful!

  3. I'm glad to hear you had a great time. It sounds like it was a lot of fun.

    I like the quotes. I haven't head of this book before, so thanks for mentioning it!

  4. Your trip to the beach sounds wonderful. And now I'm intrigued about the great mystery you found.

  5. That's so nice that you were able to get away for a vacation. I'm hoping to do that soon too.

    The book looks really good. Have a great weekend!

  6. Glad you had a good time at the Oregon coast. The book looks fascinating. And which great mystery book did you find? Happy Weekend!

  7. This sounds like such a great book and I agree, that title is brilliant! I'm glad you had such a nice getaway with the family, yay for vaccines! Thanks for hosting and I hope you have a lovely weekend :) - Juli @ A Universe in Words

  8. Not for me but enjoy!! Happy Memorial day weekend!

  9. Glad you had such a great week! And I love the title of that book too! Sounds like a great read :)

  10. Intriguing title and topic to your book selection. Sorry I am so late to respond. Fridays I watch my grandson and now that he is mobile I don't have much chance to do anything other than keep an eagle eye on him all day. Exhausting.

  11. I've read previously about the acceptance of creative women in Paris--including Sylvia Beach and Gertrude Stein. Paris gave them the freedom to live their life style and be part of an intellectual set that wouldn't have been possible elsewhere. Adding this title to my list.

  12. I am glad you were able to get away for a few days, Gillion. Until my daughter is able to be vaccinated, I doubt we will be doing much in the way of vacationing. No Modernism Without Lesbians sounds like a great read. I hope you are enjoying it! Have a great week!


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