Tipping the Velvet: A Novel (Paperback)

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Tipping the Velvet: A Novel By Sarah Waters Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Escape to the music-hall stages of turn-of-the-century England with Sarah Waters' fast-paced, racy debut novel. Waters plays it loose with history--she has described this book as being set in a sort of 1990s version of Victorian times--but you will absolutely fall for Nan King, an oyster girl from Whitstable, as she transforms a from shy provincial girl to a worldly Londoner, and learns a lot about herself and the wider world along the way. She's interesting even when she's acting like a jerk. Outlandish, absorbing and bursting with first-novel enthusiasm.

— From Rebecca


“Erotic and absorbing…Written with startling power.”—The New York Times Book Review
Nan King, an oyster girl, is captivated by the music hall phenomenon Kitty Butler, a male impersonator extraordinaire treading the boards in Canterbury. Through a friend at the box office, Nan manages to visit all her shows and finally meet her heroine. Soon after, she becomes Kitty's dresser and the two head for the bright lights of Leicester Square where they begin a glittering career as music-hall stars in an all-singing and dancing double act. At the same time, behind closed doors, they admit their attraction to each other and their affair begins.

About the Author

Sarah Waters is the New York Times–bestselling author of The Paying GuestsThe Little Stranger,The Night WatchFingersmith, Affinity, and Tipping the Velvet. She has three times been short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, has twice been a finalist for the Orange Prize, and was named one of Granta’s best young British novelists, among other distinctions. Waters lives in London.

Praise For…

“Wonderful...a sensual experience that leaves the reader marveling at the author’s craftsmanship, idiosyncrasy, and sheer effort.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“Compelling…Readers of all sexes and orientations should identify with this gusty hero as she learns who she is and how to love.”
“Delectable...written in roguishly lilting prose filled with the sights, sounds, and stenches of London street life.”
The Seattle Times
“Erotic and absorbing…Written with starling power.”—
The New York Times Book Review
“Glorious…an exceptional debut.”
The Boston Globe
Product Details
ISBN: 9781573227889
ISBN-10: 1573227889
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: May 1st, 2000
Pages: 488
Language: English