Lovers at the Chameleon Club

Lovers at the Chameleon Club

by Francine Prose

Ricki Brodie (06/06/14): The book opens in Paris in the 1920s and is told from a variety of perspectives: a Hungarian-born French photographer who took the infamous photo of the cross-dressing, masculine lesbian, Lou Villars, and her dainty lover who performed at the alternative Chameleon Club, his girlfriend, her great niece who is not only a feminist author but, penned a book about the lesbian, his female patron and his novelist friend patterned after Henry Miller. It tells the story of Lou who was an Olympic hopeful, then performer, then race car driver who lost her license and is wooed to Germany as the guest of Hitler at the Olympics where she is recruited to spy for the Third Reich and becomes a collaborator and Gestapo torturer. And…… works! The author says she was inspired by a photograph taken by a Hungarian-born French photographer of a professional athlete who worked with the Nazis. The book shows the interactions of the “narrators” and how they deal with the coming of war.
Rating: ****

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