City of Girls (Novel) Book By Elizabeth Gilbert [Online Reading, Summary, Review, Book, Download, PDF]


Life is both fleeting and dangerous, and it makes no sense to refuse pleasure or be anything other than what you are.

Dear author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the theater world of New York City during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman when she looks back at her youth with pleasure and regret (but mainly pleasure), City of Girls explores issues of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.

In 1940, Vivian Morris, nineteen, has just been expelled from Vassar College, due to her lackluster first-year performance. Her rich parents send her to Manhattan to live with her aunt Peg, owner of an extravagant and crumbling downtown theater called Lily Playhouse. There a whole cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters are presented to Vivian, from the dancers who pursue the fun to a sexy male actor, a great lady actress, a murderous writer, and stage director. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in a professional scandal, he turns his new world in a way that will take years to fully understand. However, it ultimately leads her to a new understanding of the type of life she craves, and the type of freedom it takes to follow her. It will also lead to the love of your life, a love that stands out from the rest.

Now with ninety-five years and telling his story, at last, Vivian remembers how the events of those years altered the course of his life and the taste and autonomy with which he approached. At some point in a woman's life, she simply gets tired of being ashamed all the time, she reflects. After that, she is free to become whoever she really is. Written with powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, the City of Girls is a love story like no other.

There are some writers who are destined to be judged for extravagant success. Daphne du Maurier was resentful of Rebecca until the day she died, and JK Rowling did not rename herself as Robert Galbraith for anything. But when your name is Elizabeth Gilbert and that book is Eat, Pray, Love, the reactions are extreme; total adoration or visceral disgust, with little in between.

In his third novel, it is the spring of 1940 and Vivian Morris, 19, left his Ivy League university and was "banished" to a city in New York in the middle of "we are not going to join" - the indecision of war. But as Vivian says, "exile in New York is not exile at all." The city is all glamor and emotion, with a hysterical advantage familiar to readers in a contemporary world on the edge of the global crisis.

Sent to live in the theater of the bohemian aunt of Peg, in the center of the city, The Lily, Vivian falls fully into lust with a colorful world that has little in common with her privileged education of Wasp.

The worldly showgirl Celia Ray, the street protagonist Anthony Roccella, the great lady Edna Parker Watson and her beautiful but tenuous husband, the actor Arthur, along with the Hollywood wheel salesman Billy Buell, do not look like anything and nobody with whom Vivian It has been found before. She does not delay in getting rid of the moral and emotional shackles of her narrow and buckled education, embarking on a series of issues and acquiring for herself a very different kind of education from what her parents would have considered appropriate.

If all this sounds like something out of vaudeville, it is. And intentionally so. This is a work of historical fiction, and Gilbert's prose, although not immaculate, vibrates with the atmosphere of the time. In fact, like Gilbert's previous novel, A signature of all things, it is so true to life in places, including real historical figures in history, that it occasionally feels like a pastiche.

But Gilbert is nothing but emotionally intuitive, and while City of Girls is undoubtedly a sexy and glamorous fiddling, his similarities with vaudeville end there. The plot bristles with moral intentions: Vivian's fall, when inevitably occurs, is completely and condemning and completely gender, and its repercussions overshadow the rest of his life. However, Gilbert would not be the woman she is, one who "told her truth" and left her husband to establish a relationship with her best friend, even when the friend was dying of pancreatic cancer if she were to allow His wife characters to be destroyed by the disapproval of society. And it is at this point that the true heart of the novel is revealed.

Shame and scandal have acquired a renewed meaning in the Internet era: it is almost becoming a cliché to evaluate creative work in the context of #MeToo, Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and company. At the same time, it is impossible to separate artists from the climate in which they work, and Gilbert has expressed concern that women's sexual agency, always threatened, is particularly at risk at this time. "We are in this incredibly explosive moment of anger and feminine resistance, in terms of abuse against women," he said. "What I don't want to miss [is] the idea of ​​women chasing sex because it's something they want to have."

Gilbert has long since severed his bond with shame, and thank God. On the other hand, this novel could have had all the adventure and enjoyment, but nothing of the depth; instead, it makes it a glorious, multilayer and emotionally clever celebration of femininity.

It would be easy to dismiss the City of Girls as joyful escapism, and God knows there is very little of that at the moment. But look more closely and what you will see is an eloquent persuasive treatise on the trial and punishment of women, and a sincere call to claim female sexual agency. "At some point in a woman's life, she simply gets tired of being ashamed all the time," Vivian says as she remembers her life. "After that, he is free to become who he really is." Hopefully, Gilbert is right.

About the Author:
Elizabeth Gilbert is the # 1 sales author of the New York Times of Eat, Pray, Love, as well as the story collection, Pilgrims, finalist of the PEN / Hemingway Award and winner of the 1999 John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Plowshares. Winner of the Pushcart Award and a National Magazine nominated journalist, she works as a general writer for GQ. His journalism has been published in Harper's Bazaar, Spin, and The New York Times Magazine, and his stories have appeared in Esquire, Story and Paris Review.

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