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The Many Lives of Miss K

The Many Lives of Miss K

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Written by Jean-Noel LiautAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Jean-Noel Liaut
Translated by Denise Raab JacobsAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Denise Raab Jacobs

  • Format: Hardcover, 244 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli Ex Libris
  • On Sale: September 3, 2013
  • Price: $24.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4129-5 (0-8478-4129-4)
Also available as an eBook.
about this book

A life of glamour and tragedy, set against the watershed cultural and political movements of twentieth-century Europe. “Toto” Koopman (1908—1991) is a new addition to the set of iconoclastic women whose biographies intrigue and inspire modern-day readers. Like her contemporaries Lee Miller or Vita Sackville-West, Toto lived with an independent spirit more typical of the men of her generation, moving in the worlds of fashion, society, art, and politics with an insouciant ease that would stir both admiration and envy even today. Jean-Noël Liaut chases his enigmatic subject through the many roles and lives she inhabited, both happy and tragic. Though her beauty, charisma, and taste for the extraordinary made her an exuberant fixture of Paris fashion and café society, her intelligence and steely sense of self drove her toward bigger things, culminating in espionage during WWII, for which she was imprisoned by the Nazis in Ravensbruck. After the horrors of the camp, she found solace in Erica Brausen, the German art dealer who launched the career of Francis Bacon, and the two women lived out their lives together surrounded by cultural luminaries like Edmonde Charles-Roux and Luchino Visconti. But even in her later decades, Toto remained impossible for anyone to possess.

“This is one of the most wonderful books about a woman who lived her life on her terms in times that called for most to live by society’s rules. Recommend it? How about urge all to have an amazing experience and read about this woman who conquered convention and was a player in an unbelievably full life. You just can’t make up this stuff! Staggering! One of the best biographies that ever graced my eyes!” ~Jeffrey Felner, New York Journal of Books

The Many Lives of Miss K is a fascinating read. There is nothing missing in terms of accuracy and delicious recounting of the history itself. And although at times it reads quite factually, the book is chock-full of very personal, insightful, brow-raising, shocking, and extremely interesting information, that I just could not put this down. A definite page-turner that unfolds the life of a spectacular individual whose life could not be more incredible if it were fiction.” ~Examiner

“Jean-Noel Liaut gathers and presents the available information wonderfully, often speculating on but never conjuring the tale of this fascinating woman who never ceased reinventing and rediscovering herself.” ~Boxes of Paper Blog