Synopses & Reviews
Burlesque. A uniquely American form of entertainment...and one of the most celebrated forms in burlesque was that of the inimitable Lili St. Cyr. Her body of work as a striptease artist-featuring her innovative on-stage bubble baths and reverse stripteases-was on a level with such dazzling performers as Gypsy Rose Lee, Blaze Starr, Tempest Storm, and Ann Corio. And wherever the glamorous Queen of Burlesque appeared, controversy followed. Gilded Lili is the first biography of this pioneering artist, sure to be a smash as burlesque enjoys its own resurgence. Her tempestuous love affairs and troubled life make Lili St. Cyr's story a microcosm of American sexuality in the twentieth century, mirroring social changes in sexual politics and the commercialization of sexuality. A compelling biography and an intriguing take on feminist history, Gilded Lili is golden indeed.
"Contemporary 'stripper chic' and the 'neo-burlesque movement' have spurred new interest in Lili St. Cyr, one of America's best-known postwar striptease artists, and this swift, engaging biography from freelance writer DiNardo is sure to satisfy, offering not only a portrait of the pioneering sex symbol but also a carefully researched history of the burlesque industry from the mid-1800s to its 20th century heyday. Most enthralling, however, is the delicious dossier of St. Cyr's lovers; although her official husband-count is six, her love affairs-with both men and women-may number into the hundreds. Ironically, she battled loneliness all her days, sinking into despair and heroin addiction toward the end of her life. The story of the burlesque queen with the physique of a goddess makes for great reading, and gossip hounds will delight in rumors that 'Gilded Lili' taught Marilyn Monroe many of her best-known sexpot affectations. (Even more intriguing, sources claim that St. Cyr had a clandestine love affair with the blonde bombshell.) DiNardo shows admirable skepticism while reporting the salacious morsels long associated with St. Cyr, sorting the stage siren's real life from the legend that grew around her. Despite the rigors of fame, Lili proves strikingly self-aware-'Years of adulation...spoiled me,'' she admitted-making her as tragic and sympathetic a figure as any of the famously troubled stars who followed." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The first biography of Lili St. Cyr, a pioneering artist in the realm of Burlesque entertainment, draws comparisons between her story and the emerging American sexuality in the 20th century, mirroring social changes in sexual politics and the commercialization of sexuality.
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