Monday, 12 April 2021
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'One of the strongest men I knew': DMX's ex-wife Tashera Simmons pays tribute to rapper on her 50th birthday

Added: 11.04.2021 14:36 | 21 views | 0 comments

Fans, celebrities and the music community are mourning the loss of rap legend DMX, who died Friday at 50. Read what Tashera Simmons, Snoop Dogg said.


You'll Want to Steal These Unique Celeb Baby Names For Yourself

Added: 11.04.2021 8:00 | 35 views | 0 comments

Apple Martin, Stormi Webster, Suri CruiseWhat's in a name? Just ask your favorite celebrities! As pop culture fanatics, there's nothing more thrilling than learning that your favorite celebrity couple is expecting. But...

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Happy National Siblings Day 2021! Here Are Celebrities With Siblings You May Have Forgotten

Added: 10.04.2021 23:59 | 64 views | 0 comments

Taylor Swift, Austin SwiftIt's National Siblings Day 2021! When it comes to stars' siblings, sure, you probably know many of them, such as Chris Hemsworth and his little bro Liam Hemsworth, and thanks to...

Celebrities who have a twin, from Ashton Kutcher to the Olsens

Added: 10.04.2021 14:23 | 20 views | 0 comments

From the Olsen twins to Scarlett Johansson and her twin brother, these celebrities have a twin that you may or may not have known about.


'The heavens have gained an angel': Eve, Swizz Beatz, Missy Elliott and more react to the death of DMX

Added: 09.04.2021 19:27 | 23 views | 0 comments

Fans, celebrities and the music community are mourning the loss and celebrating the life of rap legend DMX, who died Friday at the age of 50.


'Nothing less than a giant': Def Jam, Missy Elliott, Chance the Rapper and more react to the death of DMX

Added: 09.04.2021 18:46 | 22 views | 0 comments

Fans, celebrities and the music community are mourning the loss and celebrating the life of rap legend DMX, who died Friday at the age of 50.


Missy Elliott, LeBron James, and More Celebrities Pay Tribute to DMX

Added: 09.04.2021 18:43 | 7 views | 0 comments

“This is heavy for the HipHop family but your LEGACY LIVES ON & your SPIRIT.”


Prince Philip dies at 99: Boris Johnson, Piers Morgan mourn the Duke of Edinburgh

Added: 09.04.2021 14:16 | 17 views | 0 comments

Political figures and celebrities are remembering the life of Prince Philip, who died Friday morning at Windsor Castle.


Celebrities' Favorite Drugstore Beauty Finds

Added: 08.04.2021 13:00 | 31 views | 0 comments

E-Comm: Celebrity Drugstore Beauty,  Selena Gomez, Jennifer Lopez, Gigi HadidWe independently selected these products because we love them, and we hope you do too. Shop with E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a commission if you purchase something through our...

Lee Miller: The Inspiration Behind Jessica May

Added: 07.04.2021 21:34 | 11 views | 0 comments

As I mention in the Author’s Note at the back of The Paris Orphan, I first heard of Lee Miller when I was researching my previous book, . There was a throwaway line in an article that mentioned Miller and other female war correspondents who, after World War II had ended, had not been able to continue working as serious journalists because the men had returned from overseas and taken all of the available jobs.

It caught my attention. What would it have been like to report on a war and then come home to America and be assigned completely different work? After the war, Lee Miller was relegated to photographing fashion or celebrities during the winter season at Saint-Moritz. She was also an occasional contributor of recipes for Vogue.

That article was the start of my fascination with her. I went looking for more. And I found a story so incredible I couldn’t help but be inspired by it.

Miller the Photojournalist

Miller was a photojournalist for Vogue during World War II. She took some extraordinary photographs: she stumbled upon the battle for Saint-Malo in France and photographed the U.S. Army’s first use of napalm there. She reported from Paris, Luxembourg, Alsace, Colmar, Aachen, Cologne, Frankfurt and Torgau, among other places. She was one of the first to document the horrors of the Dachau concentration camp. And she was the subject of an iconic photograph, bathing in Hitler’s bathtub in his Munich apartment, having left her filthy boots to drop the dirt of Dachau, as she put it, all over the Fuhrer’s pristine white bathroom.

Miller the Model

But Lee Miller started on the other side of the lens. She was discovered by Condé Nast on the streets of Manhattan and became a famous model for magazines like Vogue during the 1920s. I decided to use this as the starting point for my character, Jessica May, as I was fascinated by that transition. How did a woman who was so obviously beautiful manage in the male and often chauvinistic environment of an army during a war?

Just as Condé Nast discovers Lee Miller, he also discovers Jess in The Paris Orphan and Jess is one of his favorite models, as Miller was. However, to suit my story better, I moved time forward to begin Jess’s modeling career in the early 1940s.

Miller’s modeling career ended when a photograph of her was used by Kotex in an advertisement for sanitary pads. It’s so hard to imagine that this could end a career, but it did. To be seen as the “Kotex Girl” was a stigma so dreadful that no magazine wanted to use pictures of Miller again. So Miller moved to France, where she became Man Ray’s lover. He helped her develop her photography skills and she became a well-regarded surrealist photographer.

I used these elements when creating Jess’s character too. Jess has to stop modeling after a photograph of her is used by Kotex, Jess has a French photographer as a lover, and solarization is a trademark of her work, as it was Miller’s.

The Intersection of Fiction and Reality

Miller actually reported for British Vogue during the war, although many of her pieces appeared in American Vogue too. For ease of the story, I have Jess working for American Vogue in The Paris Orphan.

Jess follows in Miller’s footsteps in The Paris Orphan, working out of a field hospital when she first arrives in France after D-Day. I have given the room used by Lee Miller at the Hotel Scribe in Paris to Jess, complete with a balcony piled high with fuel cans and an acquaintance with Picasso. Miller is called la femme soldatby the joyful Parisians after the city is liberated, as is Jess. Miller stays at Hitler’s apartment in Munich and is photographed in Hitler’s bath, as is Jess in The Paris Orphan.

After the War

One of the most heartbreaking parts of Miller’s story is what happened to her after the war. She suffered from post-traumatic stress after viewing and recording so many horrors, and she tried to forget that she was ever a witness to war and all its atrocities. So effective was she at excising this from her past that, when she died at age seventy, her son, Roland Penrose, had no idea of what she had done during the war. Her work was largely forgotten.

One day, Penrose’s wife found boxes of photographs and films in the attic at Farley Farm, Miller’s home. They contained Miller’s correspondence with her Vogue editor and wartime paraphernalia. Penrose immediately understood that he had made an incredible discovery, that his mother had been a true artist, and that her words and pictures had—once upon a time, until she let the world forget them—meant something.

He resurrected Lee Miller and her work. She is now widely regarded as one of the world’s preeminent war correspondents and photographers. The idea that she had been all but forgotten haunted me, and this inspired the scenes set in contemporary times in The Paris Orphan, when D’Arcy Hallworth finds an attic full of photographs and an extraordinary legacy that should never have been lost to the past.

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