Two longtime friends discuss their lives and the world around them.
American writer Alther (Stormy Weather & Other Stories, 2012, etc.) and French artist Gilot, born nearly 25 years apart, have been friends for more than two decades. In this dialogue, the two women reminisce about their grandparents, life before and after World War II, the influence their mothers had on them, the nature of fashion, and a host of other topics. Like any exchange between two people who have known each other for years, the chats ebb and flow, swirling in and around the subject at hand, with frequent digressions into the past. Through their dialogue, readers will sense the differences between a woman raised in Tennessee and a woman raised in Paris, understanding how these vastly different backgrounds have affected and influenced these two artists in their respective careers. Their conversations also show the various ways women are perceived in the U.S. and France. For example, they discuss how French men whistle and make comments to women they don’t know in the street. In America, this kind of behavior is perceived as vulgar, even harassment, but in France, it is accepted and often treated as a compliment. The narrative is loose and fluid, giving readers an inside look into the personal lives of these two women as they converse about religion, sex, or child-rearing over cups of tea or glasses of wine. For those familiar with Alther and Gilot (who was part of the School of Paris movement and had a decadelong relationship with Pablo Picasso), the book is a bonus look at vivid lives; for those unfamiliar with these artists, it provides rare insight into the large and small details that have composed their lives.
Entertaining, informative conversations between two women friends.