EMILE ZOLA

"Nana" stands third in popularity among the Zola novels. It is a study of the prostitute type and it gives a memorable picture of the life of the tinsel underworld of the Paris theaters, night life, and its parasites. Perhaps Zola pursues Nana a bit too relentlessly: certainly his putting a period to her career by showing her as a putrefying corpse is more symbolic than is wholly necessary; but it remains a novel of truth and beauty, even if a beauty of a drab and often terrible sort.

EMILE ZOLA

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Cover image: Nana by Édouard Manet (1832 1883). Cover designed by Availle. This design is in the public domain.