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Inspired by stories of legendary French courtesans, Emile Zola’s 1880 novel Nana is the tale of a young woman who finds her calling as a prostitute on the streets of Paris. As the story opens, Nana is on stage one night at the Theatre des Varietes, playing a very risqué role. Though she cannot sing or act, there is something magnetic about Nana; the audience is drawn to her blatant sexuality, entranced beyond all better judgment. Men, both common and wealthy, fall under the spell of this intoxicating woman. What her lovers do not realize, however, is that Nana is no ordinary prostitute—she is a force of nature, and a dangerous one. Just like her suitors, Nana has insatiable desires too—her expensive tastes drive the men who love her to financial ruin and insanity. A ground-breaking work about the darker truths of sexuality and consumerism in nineteenth century Europe, Nana is eye-opening, fascinating, devastating. You won’t be able to look away from this work of brutal realism.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
At nine o'clock in the evening the body of the house at the Theatres des Varietes was still all but empty. A few individuals, it is true, were sitting quietly waiting in the balcony and stalls, but these were lost, as it were, among the ranges of seats whose coverings of cardinal velvet loomed in ...Back to top
Ratings for 'Nana' by Zola, Émile