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From Joan Juliet Buck, former editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue comes her dazzling, compulsively readable memoir: a fabulous account of four decades spent in the creative heart of London, New York, Los Angeles, and Paris, chronicling her quest to discover the difference between glitter and gold, illusion and reality, and what looks like happiness from the thing itself.

Born into a world of make-believe as the daughter of a larger-than-life film producer, Joan Juliet Buck's childhood was a whirlwind of famous faces, ever-changing home addresses, and a fascination with the shiny surfaces of things. When Joan became the first and only American woman ever to fill Paris Vogue's coveted position of Editor in Chief, a "figurehead in the cult of fashion and beauty," she had the means to recreate for her aging father, now a widower, the life he'd enjoyed during his high-flying years, a splendid illusion of glamorous excess that could not be sustained indefinitely.

Joan's memoir tells the story of a life lived in the best places at the most interesting times: London and New York in the swinging 1960s, Rome and Milan in the dangerous 1970s, Paris in the heady 1980s and 1990s. But when her fantasy life at Vogue came to an end, she had to find out who she was after all those years of make-believe. She chronicles this journey in beautiful and at times heartbreaking prose, taking the reader through the wild parties and the fashion, the celebrities and creative geniuses as well as love, loss, and the loneliness of getting everything you thought you wanted and finding it's not what you'd imagined. While Joan's story is unique, her journey toward self-discovery is refreshing and universal.



About the Author

Joan Juliet Buck

The videos on this page were taken at Stair Galleries in Hudson, New York. The readings are from the later portion of the book, when the mental state of Buck's father was compromised, his sense of reality gone, but his eye was still true.
The second video concerns the statue of the Virgin Mary made by the sculptor Robert Graham for the Cathedral of Our Lady Of The Angels in downtown Los Angeles.
It's good to watch them in sequence.

Called by the New York Times "One of the most compelling personalities in the world of style," Joan Juliet Buck dives deep below the surface in 'The Price Of Illusion' to investigate, in a hilarious and heartbreaking way, the toxic appeal of fame, fashion, and glamour.
Her two first novels 'The Only Place To Be' and 'Daughter Of The Swan' were published in 1982 and 1987.
A television and film critics, she was a member of the New York Film Festival Selection Committee when she was unexpectedly chosen to be the editor in chief of French Vogue in 1994. After the abrupt end to the fashionable life in 2001, she resumed acting ('Julie & Julia', 2009, 'Supergirl', 2015) , performs with The Moth ('The Ghost of the Rue Jacob') and spent six years on her memoir. She lives in the Hudson Valley.

"Lapidary. . . elegant. . . psychedelic. . . brilliant." Publishers Weekly *starred review
**** in USA Today
An Oprah Pick
A-, Entertainment Weekly

"Buck's brilliant wit, her entirely original sense of style, her capacity to negotiate tragedy, and her gift for self-analysis make this book not only riveting, but also unforgettable" Andrew Solomon
"One knows, from the opening paragraph, that one is in the presence of a truly original, and compelling, voice." Michael Cunningham



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