Walking on Sunshine

Emile Zola – Nana – 2010/TBR



The Back of the Book: Nana is an evocation of the glittering, corrupt world of the Second French Empire, where prostitution played an important part at all levels.

Prompted by his theories of heredity and environment, Zola set out to show Nana, ‘the golden fly’, rising out of the underworld to feed on society – a predetermined product of her origins.  Nana’s latent destructiveness is mirrored in the Empire’s, and they reflect each other’s disintegration and final collapse in 1870.

Built around the book’s scientific skeleton is a powerful, sensual atmosphere and a rich use of words which elevate the novel beyond the realistic platform into a ‘poem of male desires’.


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