Author(s): Paul Morand
Coco Chanel invited Paul Morand to visit her in St Moritz at the end of the Second World War when he was given the opportunity to write her memoirs; his notes of their conversations were put away in a drawer and only came to light one year after Chanel's death. Through Morand's transcription of their conversations, Chanel tells us about her friendship with Misia Sert, the men in her life - Boy Capel and the Duke of Westminster, artists such as Diaghilev, her philosophy of fashion, and the story behind the legendary Number 5 perfume. The memories of Chanel told in her own words provide vivid sketches and portray the strength of Coco's character, leaving us with an extraordinary insight into Chanel the woman and the woman who created Chanel.
This enchanting, tiny book is the closest anyone can get to a face-to-face with Coco. It's written in her voice ('that voice that gushed forth from her mouth like lava') and in her words ('those words that crackled like dried vines'), and though it's full of lies, omissions and contradictions, there's enough raw truth in it to reflect the extraordinary woman who was Chanel, even though glimpsed shard by shard in a broken mirror Spectator Morand was the all-round aesthete -- Nicholas Lezard Guardian Morand was a citizen of the world, with a sharp eye and a neat turn of phrase The Tablet Paul Morand recaptures a WWII-era conversation between the author and the fashion icon Publisher's Weekly It's an interesting memoir because it's all about what she thinks not what she did -- David Patrick Columbia The New York Social Diary Reads beautifully... this enchanting book is the closest anyone can get to a face-to-face with Coco... written in her voice and in her words Spectator
Paul Morand was born in Paris in 1888. After studying at the Ecole des Sciences Politiques he joined the diplomatic corps, serving in London, Rome, Berne and Bucharest. Tender Shoots, his first collection of stories, was introduced by Marcel Proust. In a long and busy life, he found time to write poetry, novels, short stories and travel books. Morand was made a member of the Academie Francaise in 1963 and died in 1976, the year the first edition of The Allure of Chanel was published in Paris. His books The Man in a Hurry, Hecate and Her Dogs, Tender Shoots and Venices are also published by Pushkin Press.