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Le Divorce
DIANE JOHNSON

Le Divorce by Diane Johnson
122 reviews (1997) (309p)
National Book Award Finalist

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Book Description
In Le Divorce, Diane Johnson delightfully recounts the adventures of two sisters from California who make a modern pilgrimage to the City of Light. Pregnant and abandoned by her French husband, Roxeanne Walker de Persand turns to her younger sister, Isabel, for support, while the powerful Persand family exerts subtle but firm control over her decision whether or not to divorce. Complicating matters is the disposition of a family heirloom, a painting in Roxy's possession that is suddenly discovered to be worth millions. In the midst of a variety of schemes, the stakes are suddenly raised by a crime of passion, disrupting everyone's motives and plans. Not since Edith Wharton penned her brilliant portraits of Americans abroad has an American novelist so perfectly captured the possibilities and perils of succumbing to the allure of Paris. *Le Divorce was a hardcover bestseller appearing on the Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Publishers Weekly, and Newsday bestseller lists. * Le Divorce received outstanding reviews. * The hardcover is in its 8th printing with over 50,000 copies in print. *Plume is embarking on a major Diane Johnson backlist reissue program with one out-of-print title to appear each month between February and June 1994.


Amazon.com Review
Diane Johnson updates the transatlantic novel so gorgeously rendered by Henry James, Edith Wharton, William Dean Howells, and Nathaniel Hawthorne; evokes the spirit of such expatriates sojourning in Paris as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald; and mines the pathos of modern fiction in creating this wonderful and important novel. Isabel Walker, eerily reminiscent of James's Isabel Archer, is a young film-school dropout who travels to Paris to aid her stepsister, who is going through a divorce. Isabel's California cool, American freedoms, and feminist slants comingle, successfully and fractiously, with the customs, biases, and complex sexuality of modern Europe. The result modulates between introspection and hilarity, and a quick, Hollywood-inspired sweep of violent action in the end doesn't undermine the author's mastery of Old World vs. New--in fact, it provides an ironic scrim.


Other Award Winning Books by Diane Johnson
Persian Nights by Diane Johnson
18 reviews (1987) (352p) (PP)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
Lying Low by Diane Johnson
9 reviews (1978) (278p) (NBA)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page

Diane Johnson Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 3  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 3  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 1 Persian Nights ·  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 0  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 2 Le Divorce · Lying Low ·  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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