A witty, high-spirited biography of the pioneering and controversial publisher, Maurice Girodias, his “DBs” (Dirty Books) and his great ones – by Nabokov, Miller, Beckett, Donleavy and Burroughs. Operating from Paris and aided by two kindred spirits (John Calder in Britain and Barney Rosset in the United States), Girodias confronted literary censorship head on and brought it tumbling down. But, in doing so, he paved the way for his own destruction.
The story of the “Kamikaze publisher” who courted women, fame, fortune and bankruptcy with equal fervor is a great read for anyone interested in books, literary license, and amiable madness.
“Marvelously vivid biography and history… a captivatingly readable and comprehensive account of the Olympia Press.”
J. P. Donleavy (author of The Ginger Man and other novels) The Sunday Express
“A work of literary and bibliographic history with the bonus of a great ‘scoop,’ a riveting account of the true identity of ‘Pauline Réage,’ the pseudonymous author of Story of O.”
Paul Spike, Vogue
“It has two of the funniest heroes I have every encountered… just about every chapter could be the basis for a comedy series… an extraordinary story.”
Byron Rogers, The Spectator
Also published in the United States as Venus Bound: The Erotic Voyage of the Olympia Press and its Writers [New York: Random House, 1996]