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American Cocktail: 'A Colored Girl' in the World Hardcover – 7 Feb 2014


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Review

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x95ebb168) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95fa1d50) out of 5 stars Refreshing, candid, lighthearted story of a black woman enjoying her life! 11 Mar. 2014
By Brittan E. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'd never heard of Anita Reynolds until I read a recent article about her memoir being published. It's so refreshing to read a TRUE story of a young woman of color who is enjoying life (even in the 1920's!)

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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95fa1f9c) out of 5 stars An Interesting Personal Insight 8 Mar. 2014
By JMH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Started reading this and couldn't put it down. A well paced, apolitical insight into the lives of some of the cultural avant garde of the '20's and '30s. Anita Reynolds' commentary on her experiences of the period is not deep but is interesting, personal and engaging. Hutchinson's notes add just the right amount of color to support and/or correct Reynolds' insights. Overall a very interesting book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95fa1f60) out of 5 stars Nice read 15 May 2014
By S. lawton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The young lady led an eventful life, but it wasn't as interesting as I had hoped. However, I would definitely recommend.
HASH(0x95fa3270) out of 5 stars A little choppy, but worth the time. Refreshing ... 13 Sept. 2015
By Maria Wroblewski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A little choppy, but worth the time. Refreshing look at the race issue by the author. She sees it and to some extent feels it, but she doesn't make it effect her zest for living.
HASH(0x95fa32d0) out of 5 stars Engaging read of an interesting life 14 Jun. 2015
By Veronica Lescay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A well written book on the life of an interesting woman who paved her own unique path in this world. Highly recommended!
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