Studio Saint-ex by Ania SzadoStudio Saint-ex by Ania Szado

Studio Saint-ex

byAnia Szado

Paperback | April 22, 2014

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In the glittering world of Manhattan’s French expats and 1942 Quebec, a twenty-two-year-old fashion designer on the cusp of launching her career is swept away by the charms of French writer and war pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry … and enmeshed in the schemes of his beautiful, estranged Salvadoran wife, who is determined to win back her husband—at all costs and seductions.

With Paris under occupation by Hitler’s troops, New York’s Mayor LaGuardia vows to turn his city into the new fashion capital of the world—and Mig Lachapelle leaves Montreal for New York to make her name. She finds herself pulled into a fiery romantic triangle in which ambitions, creativity, and passions catch a literary giant between two talented, mesmerizing women and imperil the fate of his work-in progress, The Little Prince—a poignant tale of a young boy’s loneliness and love among the stars, one of the best selling and most beloved novels of all time. Studio Saint-Ex explores themes of ambition, devotion, and inspiration in deft, sophisticated prose.

  Ania Szado ’s novel Beginning of Was was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Best First Book, Canada/Caribbean). She lives in Toronto and holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. Visit her website at
Title:Studio Saint-exFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8.17 × 5.27 × 0.92 inPublished:April 22, 2014Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143184229

ISBN - 13:9780143184225

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Design and Conquer Studio Saint-Ex is a fictionalized account of real-life couple, Count Antoine de Saint-Exupery and his wife Consuelo. Saint-Ex the man was a real-life author and hero in the early days of aviation and the dark days of French subjugation during WWII. Szado weaves a fictional Quebecoise into the known facts of his life. Mignonne is a young fashion designer who has come to New York to set up her own fashion line. She is smart, ambitious, and wise beyond her years. She has to figure out what battles to pick with her thieving boss. She is assigned as English tutor to the Count, and is soon swept off her feet. The bond she feels with him goes beyond physical attraction; they are both creative spirits who need time and space to follow their inspiration. Szado’s book bravely elevates the act of fashion design to be on par with that of writing or painting, even though Antoine himself professes disdain for the trivia of hemlines. In fact, these are some of the most spirited exchanges in the book. The reader is led to question, what is art? And why do we dismiss clothing design? (Could this be due to the low respect attributed to “women’s things”?) Due to the war, the world of fashion was gravitating from Paris to New York, and these were heady, inspired times. The fiery Consuelo is enchanted by fashion so she wants Mignonne’s latest creations. She is alternately seductive toward, and jealous of, the young designer. Szado brings the three main characters to life and shows their flaws and passions convincingly. Her prose is spare yet poetic (“stars sat like rivets in the sky” and “sell fashions through smooth-tongued guile”) and the action moves effortlessly along.
Date published: 2013-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Le Petit Prince grown up... Who would have thought it? I certainly didn't see it coming. On my own browsing a shelf of books, I wouldn't have gotten pasted a brief glance, and that due to the wonderful cover. No reason, just not my usual subject matter. But I was fortunate enough to receive a preview copy. It took me a day or two to commit to cracking the cover, and a chapter or two to really enjoy the characters. Having said that.. I finished it that same night!! I couldn't put it down! As I was saying.. Who would have thought... fabric could be so seductive! As someone unfamiliar with the whole "fashion" thing.. then and now, Ania Szado's attention to detail, virtually painting the scenes before my eyes, left me feeling like I was right there! A silent eye witness to a era, incredible locations and the dramas lived by an assortment of complex characters.. trials of love, dependency, sorrow.. it was all there.. the characters weaved together much like the 'delicate silk'.
Date published: 2013-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous book! I fell in love with the main character Mignonne from the first chapter. Ania Szado's descriptions of the young fashion designer at work and her inspirations are superlative and timeless. A wonderful read with rich and fascinating insights into the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
Date published: 2013-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Captivating and wonderful look into the New York Fashion scene during the early 1940's. Mignonne the young and talented designer meets and falls in love with writer Antoine de Saint- Exupery during the writing of his book The Little Prince. The story is still with me having read it several weeks ago and I hope it never leaves.
Date published: 2013-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gorgeous I was lucky enough to receive an advance reading copy of Studio Saint-Ex. Szado gorgeously evokes the fashion scene of 1940s Manhattan and provides a smart, sure-handed glimpse into the hearts and minds of two women in love with literary sensation Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. A deft examination of love, desire and ambition.
Date published: 2013-01-26

Editorial Reviews

"A ravishing glimpse into the early days of American haute couture and into the private life of one of the 20th Century’s most notorious authors. Ania Szado’s writing is nothing less than sublime." - Alison Pick, author of Far to GoAnia Szado has created a fascinating time and place and his risen wonderfully to the challenge of portraying real historical characters in fiction- bravo! - Annabel Lyon, author of Giller prize-nominated The Sweet GirlAnia Szado has written a novel that is so true and so right that it makes you wonder why nobody has written it before. Studio Saint-Ex is like an ocean undertow: I fell in and could not get out except by gorging on the story as it pulled me toward the final sentence. Studio Saint-Ex is an unputdownable novel about twentieth century fashion, French expatriates in Manhattan during World War II, the miracle of creative genius and the lives of the great writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery and the women he loved. Open the first page and prepare to fall. - Lawrence Hill, bestselling author of The Book of NegroesStudio Saint-Ex by Ania Szado is an elegantly alluring and poignant love story. Nuanced, written with intimacy and immediacy, it's a fascinating account of the evolution of the classic children's novel The Little Prince framed by the complex relationships of the French writer/war hero Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, his formidably manipulative and fiercely sensual Latin wife, and the young, talented Canadian fashion designer who captivates them both. Spare and beautifully-crafted, the novel vividly evokes the world of fashion design and the French ex-pat community in New York during WWII. In a word: magnifique! - Sandra Gulland, author of Josephine B trilogy and Mistress of the Sun"Rich in observations, beautifully rendered, Studio Saint-Ex is a complex study of troubled love, overriding ambition, and the miracles of creativity. Ania Szado has written a mesmerizing book." - Eva Stachniak, bestselling author of The Winter PalaceIn Ania Szado's lyrical novel, the characters are pulled between worlds; France and America, high fashion and wartime austerity, the allure of flight and the magic of the written word. Studio Saint-Ex is at once seductive and brimming with the restless energy of World War II New York. It, like its characters, takes wing through a dark uncharted night, in order to deliver great beauty. - Vincent Lam, Giller Prize Winner and author of the bestselling novel The Headmaster's WagerStudio Saint-Ex is an imaginative, sensual exploration of the creation of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince, set in a moodily evocative 1940’s New York. In depicting the breathtaking collision between desire and art, passion and inspiration, Szado spins a tale that will make you view this beloved classic in an entirely different, and very surprising, way. - Melanie Benjamin, author of The Aviator's Wife“Set amid dazzling wartime Manhattan, this fictionalized story about a love triangle involving the author of the beloved tale The Little Prince is captivating.” - Chatelaine“Szado’s exploration of what it takes to bring art – whether it’s de Saint-Exupéry’s fiction, specifically The Little Prince, or her fashion – into the world is insightful, even inspiring at times….this is one entertaining book” - NOW Magazine“[A]n engrossing and meticulous character study of a man who was part philosopher, part risk-taker and wholly romantic.” - Toronto Star“[A] conscientious and imaginative work written with style and grace…. thoughtful, elegant and satisfying on many levels” - Winnipeg Free Press