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Whistler Reads Hosts Author Tilar Mazzeo

abstract:Whistler Reads next event is Saturday, Nov 22nd when we host NYT's bestselling author Tilar Mazzeo at the Fairmont Whistler Chateau to talk about her latest book, The Hotel On Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hôtel Ritz in Paris (HarperCollins) Reception 7pm Empress room with cash bar preceding the talk. "There will be champagne!"
Get your tickets here

The Fairmont Chateau is offering Whistler Reads guests special room rates by clicking here, or you can call the hotel direct at 1-800-606-8244 and give them Whistler Reads Program 1114WHIS

Whistler Reads Founder and Director Paula Shackleton on "My First Visit to Paris".
On my first visit to Paris we stayed at a hotel next to the Hôtel Ritz, just off the Place Vendome. While the Ritz was admittedly out of our budget, we were determined to wander around the lobby and stop for a drink in the famous Hemingway Bar. There we met a fascinating man living in Dubai, a former test pilot and military attache who also held advanced science degrees who had been given a mandate (and a half billion dollar budget) to seduce high-tec and bio-tec companies to the UAE. Great hotels and bars are like that - magnets for fascinating people, the crossroads to the world. This book is about one of the world's great hotels, set during this century's most defining moment in history, WWII, and it features a cast of real characters from this unique perspective.

Whistlerites have a special relationship with hotels. As a resort town we...


November 01, 2014
— have plenty. But they're not just for guests, they're an integral part of village life. We host and attend local events in them, we celebrate family milestones there, we meet casually with friends for drinks and apres, we pamper ourselves at the spa and book ourselves in for stay-casions. Whistler hotels combined are one of our largest employers. We know that for a period of time, guests are meant to think of the hotel as their home and the staff as their family. All kinds of things can and do happen. Service and discretion are words that come to mind when you think of a good hotel.

Tilar Mazzeo's latest book, her whole body of work for that matter, will intrigue and perhaps qualify as recommended reading for this community. She writes narrative nonfiction and memoir on the history of war, women, and luxury.

From The Jacket Cover of Hotel On The Place Vendom

"Established in 1898 in the heart of Paris on the Place Vendôme, the Hôtel Ritz instantly became an icon of the city frequented by film stars and celebrity writers, American heiresses and risqué flappers, politicians, playboys, and princes. By the 1920s the bar became a favorite watering hole for F. Scott Fitzgerald and other writers of the Lost Generation, including Ernest Hemingway. In June 1940, when France fell to the Germans, Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister of the Third Reich, famously declared that the nation's capital would remain a high-spirited place—or else. Orders from Berlin specified that the Hôtel Ritz would be the only luxury hotel of its kind in occupied Paris.

Tilar J. Mazzeo traces the history of this cultural landmark from its opening in fin de siècle Paris to the modern era. At its center, The Hotel on Place Vendôme chronicles life at the Ritz during wartime, when the hotel simultaneously served as headquarters to the highest-ranking German officers, such as Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, and home to wealthy patrons (and to the spies among them) who stayed on in Paris. At Coco Chanel's table in the dining room on any given evening, one might find the playwright and screenwriter Sacha Guitry, the lithe Russian ballet star Serge Lifar, or Jean Cocteau and his handsome boyfriend.

Mazzeo takes us into the grand palace's suites, bars, dining rooms, and wine cellars, revealing a hotbed of illicit affairs and deadly intrigue, as well as stunning acts of defiance and treachery, in which refugees were hidden in secret rooms, a Jewish bartender passed coded messages for the German resistance, and Wehrmacht officers plotted to assassinate the Führer. By the spring of 1944, as the tides of the war shifted, these stories were all coming to their dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking conclusions. There were celebrations as well: when Ernest Hemingway returned in the last hours of the occupation with his rogue band of "irregular" troops to liberate the Hôtel Ritz, they also liberated many bottles of vintage wine from its cellars."

Many of the details of this époque were not known to me. Who better to walk us through it all than the author herself, an expert on the genre. Tilar Mazzeo's previous books explore related historic figures and topics of interest:

Other Books By The Author

The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It, The New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestselling business biography of the visionary young widow who built a champagne empire, became a legend in her tumultuous times, and showed the world how to live with style.
"'The Widow Clicquot,” Tilar J. Mazzeo’s sweeping oenobiography of Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, is the story of a woman who was a smashing success long before anyone conceptualized the glass ceiling. – Jane and Michael Stern, New York Times

The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World's Most Famous Perfume is is Tilar J. Mazzeo’s far-ranging and fascinating search to uncover the full story of No.5’s creation, iconic status, and extraordinary success. Mazzeo goes back through time and deep into the life of Coco Chanel, its brilliant and deeply flawed creator. She takes readers to the rose plantations and celebrated jasmine fields where the perfume begins, and on to the laboratories and boardrooms where scent and sex are forever intertwined. And she takes us to the heart of the Chanel empire: 31 Rue Cambon, Coco Chanel’s flagship boutique, where six decades ago American G.I.s stormed the counters to possess the magical elixir that captured the luxury and romance of Paris for their girls back home.

About The Author

Tilar J. Mazzeo received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington, Seattle. She teaches English as the Clara C. Piper Associate Professor of English at Colby College, and narrative nonfiction at writer's workshops.

She writes extensively on wine for the media and is the author of The Back Lane Wineries of Napa, The Back Lane Wineries of Sonoma (Ten Speed Press), and the forthcoming guide to The Back Lane Wineries of the Pacific Northwest. If that is not enough, she is currently working on the story of the Holocaust heroine, Irena Sendler, the "female Schindler." Irena's Children is forthcoming with Gallery / Simon & Schuster in 2016.

She divides her time between Saanichton, British Columbia; New York City; and Portland, Maine.

Writing Courses

Aspiring writers in Whistler will be keen to meet Ms Mazzeo who also teaches creative writing and has produced a Now Write! Nonfiction: Memoir, Journalism and Creative Nonfiction Exercises from Today's Best Writers

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