Author: Zola, Emile
Publisher: The Franklin Library, Pennsylvania
Publication Date: 1981
Edition: Limited Edition
Book Condition: NF-
Comments: Full dark blue leather with gilt lettering and design work. Raised bands on spine, all edges gilt, silk end papers, attached page marker. No d-j issued. Edge of top board has small scratch.
Synopsis: In Nana, the characters are a prostitute, who rises from the streets to become what Zola calls a “high-class cocotte,” and the men—and women—whom she loves, betrays, and destroys.
Among the novel’s many ironies is the mutual envy felt by Nana and those around her. She yearns for their material possessions, while they admire her apparent independence and sexual self- confidence. And despite the chaos Nana causes, Zola imagines her as being essentially “good-natured,” a stupid, vain but beautiful creature who can’t help drawing people into her web.
Not surprisingly, Nana’s portrait of a decadent world in which a prostitute amasses great wealth and power provoked protests from “polite society,” and it became one of Zola’s most controversial works. Today it is regarded as his masterpiece.