In Paris We Sang; Rose Cannan's un-put-downable memoir

A while back I interviewed the indomitable, beautiful, nonagenarian Rose Cannan for W magazine”s website.  Rose is in some circles better known by her first husband”s surname, Evansky, as it was while she was married to him that she owned an influential hair salon in Mayfair, where she trained the hairdresser Leonard Lewis, who in turn trained John Frieda, Nicky Clarke and mentored Daniel Galvin through his creation of Crazy Colour, all of which pretty much makes Rose, Hairdressing Royalty.

It”s also widely acknowledged that she invented the blow-drying technique, something which we take for granted today but lest we forget, has rid women all over the world from the drudgery of having to sit under those cumbersome bulbous overhead driers for hours on end, prickly rollers itching away at their scalps.

Outside the world of hairdressing though, Rose has an even more compelling story to tell, and tell it she has, in a new memoir, entitled, In Paris We Sang.  I was lucky enough to read an early draft and couldn”t put it down.  Rose tells the tale of how she came to live in Britain, a refugee from Nazi Germany, one of the last to get on the famous Kinder Transport that  helped Jewish children escape the imminent horrors of the concentration camps.  Rose remembers London during the Blitz, then as it moves into the heady Sixties, recalls her discomfort at living in such sexually permissive times and her struggles to keep an even keel through an at times emotionally charged, difficult life.

Her memoir feels honest, at times painfully so; she doesn”t gloss over the Sixties but reveals its dark underbelly, warts and all.  I”ve always felt the Sixties are well documented from a male perspective, but wondered what it must have been like for women.  I admire Rose for being brave enough to live through all those times again, and to put pen to paper to inspire future generations of women to never give up, or just go with the flow, for the sake of fitting in with a world you didn”t feel at ease with.

In Paris We Sang is an inspiring, spirited read and I urge you to ; you won”t regret it.

 

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