The 1929 Louise Brooks film, Diary of a Lost Girl, is based on a controversial and bestselling book first published in Germany in 1905. Though little known today, the book was a phenonenom at the beginning of the 20th century. Was it – as many believed – the real-life diary of a young woman forced by circumstance into a life of prostitution? Or a sensational and clever fake, one of the first novels of its kind? This contested work – a work of unusual historical significance as well as literary sophistication – inspired a popular sequel, a censored play, a parody, a score of imitators, and two censored silent films. By the end of the Twenties, it had sold more than 1,200,000 copies – ranking it among the bestselling books of its time.
This new edition of the original English language translation brings this important book back into print in the United States after more than 100 years. It includes an introduction by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society, detailing the book's remarkable history and relationship to the acclaimed 1929 film. This special "Louise Brooks Edition" also includes more than three dozen vintage illustrations.
"Gladysz provides an authoritative series of essays that tell us about the author, the notoriety of her work (which was first published in 1905), and its translation to the screen. Production stills, advertisements, and other ephemera illustrate these introductory chapters. In today’s parlance this would be called a 'movie tie-in edition,' but that seems a rather glib way to describe yet another privately published work that reveals an enormous amount of research — and passion." -- Leonard Maltin