From the acclaimed author of Stuffed: an intimate, richly illustrated memoir, written with charm and panache, that juxtaposes two fascinating livesthe iconoclastic designer Elsa Schiaparelli and the authors own motherto explore how a girl fashions herself into a woman.
Audrey Morgen Volk, an upper-middle-class New Yorker, was a great beauty and the polished hostess at her familys garment district restaurant. Elsa SchiaparelliSchiapthe haute couture designer whose creations shocked the world, blurred the line between fashion and art, and believed that everything, even a button, has the potential to delight.
Audreys daughter Patricia read Schiaps autobiography, Shocking Life, at a tender age, and was transformed by it. These two womenvolatile, opinionated, and brilliant each in her own wayoffered Patricia contrasting lessons about womanhood and personal style that allowed her to plot her own course.
Moving seamlessly between the Volks Manhattan and Florida milieux and Schiaps life in Rome and Paris (among friends such as Dali, Duchamp, and Picasso), Shocked weaves Audreys traditional notions of domesticity with Schiaparellis often outrageous ideas into a marvel-filled, meditation on beauty, and on being a daughter, sister, and mother, while demonstrating how a single book can change a life.
Patricia Volk is the author of the memoir Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family and four works of fiction. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, she has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and Playboy. She lives in New York City.