Joie Davidow is the author of five published books. Her most recent work, An Unofficial Marriage, is a historical novel, set against the backdrop of the tumultuous events of 19th century Europe. It's the story of the love affair of two great artists — the revered Russian author, Ivan Turgenev, and the most celebrated opera singer of her day, Pauline Viardot-Garcia.
She was the founder of L.A. Style, the ground-breaking publication that chronicled the Los Angeles lifestyle, becoming the fastest growing regional magazine in the United States and winning numerous awards. She was a co-founder of the L.A. Weekly, a newspaper which has been an integral part of life in Los Angeles. She also launched the award-winning Sí magazine, a national lifestyle publication, in English, targeting the Latino market. Her frequent television appearances as a lifestyle commentator include such programs as the "Oprah Winfrey Show," "CBS This Morning,” CNN’” and many others. She has served as a consultant for such organizations as Weider Publications, Los Angeles magazine and others. Her feature articles have appeared in Metropolitan Home, Town & Country, Travel Holiday, Westways, Spafinder and other publications. She has lectured on current trends and conducted seminars at UCLA and for companies such as Benetton, Nordstrom and the Men’s Fashion Association. In 1989 she received the Liberty Hill Foundation’s Upton Sinclair award, for her role in the founding of L.A. Weekly. In 1995, she was named one of Publishing’s Most Dynamic Leaders by Folio:The Magazine for Magazine Management.
She currently lives in Umbria, with her dog, Maggie
An Unofficial Marriage
Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous events of 19th century Europe, An Unofficial Marriage dramatizes the equally tumultuous real-life love affair of two great artists—the famous Russian author, Ivan Turgenev, and the celebrated French opera singer, Pauline Viardot. From the moment he encounters her on the St. Petersburg stage, Ivan falls completely for Pauline. Though Pauline returns his feelings, she is bound by her singular passion for her art and her devotion to her gentle, older husband, Louis. Nevertheless, Ivan pursues Pauline across countries and continents—from Russia to France to Germany to Prussia—and in the decades that follow their fateful meeting, the lives of Pauline, Ivan, and Louis remain permanently intertwined as the lovers face jealousy, separation, the French Revolution of 1848, the cholera epidemic of 1849, the Franco-Prussian War, Turgenev’s arrest in Russia, Louis’s heartbreak and resignation, and the highs and lows of their artistic careers. “You know those unofficial marriages,” Turgenev would write almost thirty years after meeting Pauline, “They sometimes turn out more poisonous than the accepted form.” Joie Davidow (who herself has a background in opera) illuminates not only the interior lives of these two intensely passionate artists, but also the grand historic moments that Pauline and Ivan experienced and the celebrated figures who moved in their circles—including George Sand, Leo Tolstoy, Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Ary Scheffer—providing insight into the dynamic worlds of 19th century opera, literature, art, and politics.
I Wouldn't Leave Rome to Go to Heaven2008
Marked for Life2001
Infusions of Healing1999