American Cocktail: 'A Colored Girl' in the World Hardcover – 7 Feb 2014
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Reynolds s memoir of her adventures in 1930s Paris and Europe, before World War II drove her back to the United States, was written in the 1970s but was never published. After a brief silent movie career and an uptown/downtown period hobnobbing with Harlem s intelligentsia as well as Greenwich Village s bohemians, the racially mixed author decamped to Europe at just the right time to meet such luminaries as Man Ray, Antonin Artaud, Louise Bryant, and many others. She lived the Left Bank life, with many forays into respectability (or something like it), traveling between the two worlds effortlessly Her lavish descriptions of the clothes she wore, the men she loved, and the places where she dined and danced enchant, and her frank discussion of sex is refreshing. Hutchinson s detailed chapter notes provide invaluable biographical and cultural info This title is essential for those who enjoy reading about the African American expat experience, as well as fans of Paris memoirs. --Liz French "Library Journal "
American Cocktail is a welcome addition to the sparse collection of twentieth-century memoirs written by African-American women. While it certainly allows a view of international modernism, and of racial passing, from a unique angle , as Hutchinson claims, and while the detailed notations will serve scholars well, the charm of the book lies precisely in Anita Reynolds s refusal to be drawn on anything but the finer things in life. --Times Literary Supplement
About the Author
George Hutchinson is Chairman of the Department of English and Booth Tarkington Professor of Literary Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Sidebar: I recently watched yet another Oscar-winning "slave movie" adapted from a memoir. It was brutal and draining and basically ruined my entire day. While some of those stories are educational and shed light on relevant issues, I'm beyond exhausted by the narrative of the black woman that keeps replaying itself in popular culture. We are well aware of the injustices we face and we fight silent battles daily, but by no means are we defined by oppression. Anita was not defined by the glaring racial inequalities of her time. She was a young girl having a full experience!
I'd love to see this adapted into a film or play. Anita Reynolds, I relate to you on so many levels. Thank you for sharing your experiences so candidly, and for being socially conscious without being a victim. I'm halfway through the book now and I don't want it to end.
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