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Kiki's Memoirs

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  82 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Now appearing in English translation for the first time, these are the bold and sassy memoirs of the model who became the reigning queen of 1920s Paris - featuring many unpublished Man Ray photographs. A love child, she was born in Burgundy in 1901 and christened Alice Prin. Raised by her grandmother in dire poverty, she made meals of vegetables thieved from neighbors' gar ...more
Hardcover, 298 pages
Published November 21st 1996 by Ecco (first published 1929)
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Apr 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Kiki’s Memoirs has an introduction written by Ernest Hemingway — a rare honor. Writes Hemingway, “This is the only book I have ever written an introduction for, and God help me, the only one I ever will… It is written by a woman who, as far as I know, never had a Room of Her Own… you have a book here written by a woman who was never a lady at any time. For about ten years she was about as close as people get nowadays to being a Queen but that, of course, is very different from being a lady.”

Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it
To be read on this song(Kiki's fav song!)
Ravel "Ma Mère l'Oye"

Beautiful images of Montparnasse:
La Coupole
La Coupole
Le Dome

& famous people:
Pablo Picasso
Man_Ray & Salvador_Dali

and it's queen:

will start to live under your eyes!

But if you're here for the love story between Man Ray and his muse Kiki, find that she decided to keep everything for herself, as a gem, and let the photos talk!

Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an odd, but thoroughly enjoyable book. It was originally published as "Memoires" in France, then 20 pages or so were added, it was translated into English by Sam Putnam, and Ernest Hemingway (whom Kiki called "Papa Hemingway") wrote the introduction. Then, this English edition was banned as pornography in the U.S. when it was released, which isn't surprising given the inclusion of a dozen pages of nude photographs of "Kiki's friends." Alice Prinn is a fascinating character and this is a ...more
Weighed down by boorish introductions by boorish men. Their inclusion boggles the mind. Kiki is a woman who we know through the filters of other men - why are we mucking up her story & her voice with others?
Feb 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I heart Kiki. She was a model for Man Ray, Caulder, Modigliani, Foujita, etc.... Ernsest Hemingway writes the forward. What's not to love?
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me alegro de que estas memorias escritas por Alice Prin, de nombre artístico Kiki de Montparnasse, hayan sido mi primera lectura de este año recién estrenado. Es un libro ilustrado bellísimo que tiene el aliciente de incluir reproducciones de algunos de los retratos que pintó Kiki, que además de cantante y bailarina de cabaret, y musa de los artistas de la bohemia parisina, era pintora, muy influenciada por su amigo Modigliani, por cierto.

No tuvo otra escuela que la vida, de ahí que su escritura
I read this book on the recommendation of my father. Maybe the book is better in French than it is in translation. There is a nice absurdist passage about a dead fish that she carries around with her named "Little Antoine" but otherwise it isn't that wonderful. I much preferred Defoe's Moll Flanders. The introduction by Papa Hemingway is fun - apparently Kiki's memoir is the only book to which he agreed to write the introduction. For that reason alone it might be required reading.
Après la lecture de la BD Kiki de Montparnasse, c'est naturellement que j'ai voulu aller un peu plus loin et lire les mémoires de la bouche même de "Kiki", alias Alice Prin. Si l'ambiance est bien là (le Montparnasse et ses peintres fauchés, ses lieux nocturnes), si la gouaille de Prin donne une saveur inimitable, son côté "moi-je" a tendance à énerver.
Aug 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
my 2nd read. still a pleasure and all those photos. inspired and source for my poetry book Kiki, of course.
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recomendadísima lectura!! Kiki nárranos de forma moi sinxela aspectos da súa vida sen igual naquel París irrepetible de entreguerras, a non esquecer!
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Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This short (just over 100 pages of Kiki's text) makes a quick read. The prose is so simple, even in translation, that I couldn't help believing that Kiki was telling the truth about her life and the people she knew. And she seems to have known everybody in the arts, literature, and entertainment in Jazz Age Paris. Besides Kiki's own text of her "Memoirs" and "Kiki Talks Openly to You" there is a good selection of Man Ray's photographs of Kiki and her own drawings and paintings, as well as an ent ...more
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