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Picturing a World

Poupée en Bas

La Poupée en Bas, where Jeanette and Cousin Effie meet Sonja to discuss her eviction, is completely fictional, confected from what I learned about supper clubs and various informal arrangements made by male artists for taking communal meals. It was easy to imagine that women artists might also join together to avoid having to cook or go out to restaurants. I then had the fun of inventing the arrangement with La Belle Hélène, describing the decor, and visiting the place from time to time with my characters. But, of course, there is no illustration of it. As a substitute (and a plug for a future novel), I’m borrowing from research for my current work-in-progress, “Anonymity,” which is set in New York City in 1908. Miss Crump’s very feminine, very quirky tea room is the sort of place my heroine, Mattie Palmer, may visit. If she takes her sister, can’t you just hear Jeanette saying, “Oh, this reminds me of my time in Paris”?

The Tarbox photograph is from the Museum of the City of New York. I couldn't find a way to link just to the enlargement of this picture, but if you click here, you will get to the page of thumbnails where it and others can be accessed.
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