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The Language of Clothes 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0805062441
ISBN-10: 0805062440
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alison Lurie is the Pulitzer-prize winning author of many highly praised novels, including, most recently, The Last Resort. She currently divides her time between Ithaca, Key West, and London.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 1st edition (March 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805062440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805062441
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,094,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alison Lurie (b. 1926) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of fiction and nonfiction. Born in Chicago and raised in White Plains, New York, she joined the English department at Cornell University in 1970, where she taught courses on children's literature, among others. Her first novel, Love and Friendship (1962), is a story of romance and deception among the faculty of a snowbound New England college. It won favorable reviews and established her as a keen observer of love in academia. It was followed by the well-received The Nowhere City (1966) and The War Between the Tates (1974). In 1984, she published Foreign Affairs, her best-known novel, which traces the erotic entanglements of two American professors in England. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1985. Her most recent novel is The Last Resort (1998). In addition to her novels, Lurie's interest in children's literature led to three collections of folk tales and two critical studies of the genre. Lurie officially retired from Cornell in 1998, but continues to teach and write. In 2012, she was awarded a two-year term as the official author of the state of New York. Lurie lives in Ithaca, New York, and is married to the writer Edward Hower. She has three grown sons and three grandchildren.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I can't wait to go out and buy this book, which I read in hardcover from the library. It is very well researched and illustrated and discusses clothes and fashions from long ago up till today. And not just fashions and how they change, but what they MEAN. For example, did you know....in olden times, not just elegant clothing, but cloth itself was and admired and expensive commodity. The more cloth making up one's clothing meant that person was wealthy. Paintings of the period featured draperies in the background to indicate a person's wealth, and even today designer clothing uses more cloth and is cut fuller, carrying on the tradition. Anyone interested in not only fashion and clothing but symbols and history should read this book, it is just fascinating and delicious.
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Format: Paperback
Well written, well argued history, not text book like at all, but like a long New Yorker article. A pleasure to read. It's not about silly petty fads but great social movements that underlie trends and revolutions. I think more photo illustrations would help.
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Format: Paperback
This is an amusing essay on how Lurie interprets various clothing, outfits, and styles. The book is easy to read and is a way to pass the time pleasurably. Potential readers, however, should be aware that the "language" metaphor does not hold for long: in this book, clothes are like a language only inasmuch as they convey meaning. One could just as validly and convincingly write about, say, "the language of bookshelves" or "the language of bicycle riding styles." Those interested in a history of clothing would do well to look elsewhere, and those interested in analyses of clothing would do well to look elsewhere as well (e.g., The Fashion System). Potential readers are also warned that Lurie tends to make sweeping generalizations about persons not part of her social world (e.g., the poor or non-Anglo-Saxons) and some may find these generalizations (never backed by citations of evidence) offensive.
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Format: Paperback
Novelist Lurie here turns her attention to the history and social interpretation of clothing, linking politics, sexuality and social issues such as class to the evolution of clothing design and style. From Victorian to modern times, The Language of Clothes takes a sweeping look at the history of clothing's evolution and trends, making for an excellent guide.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fabulous book. I am now look at clothing in an entirely new way. It's an old book but it's message is eternal. It's humorous and very well written. I'm glad to reread it after many years.
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