In 1932, the Hungarian photographer Brassaï took a picture of two women in a Parisian bar: one wearing a spangly, evening gown, the other a tuxedo. The latter, Violette Morris, became both a star athlete and an interrogator for the Gestapo, and is the subject of Francine Prose’s novel Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932. Prose thought she might write a biography, but found herself desiring to take freedoms with character and point-of-view so the book circulates around a fictionalized character named Lou Villars. We never hear Villars’ voice but instead gain our sense of her through the personal writings and letters of those who knew her.
Francine Prose, Author