Rachelle Bergstein is a writer and editor whose first book, Women from the Ankle Down: The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us (HarperCollins, 2012) was called “wickedly provocative” by Kirkus, “fleet-footed” by the New York Times, and was named one of Janet Maslin’s top beach reads of Summer 2012. Her second book, Brilliance and Fire: A Biography of Diamonds (HarperCollins, 2016) was called “exhilarating” by the Wall Street Journal, was picked as one of Amazon’s top nonfiction titles of the month, and was featured in best-of summer lists at Harper’s Bazaar and The Knot. A retail contributor at Forbes.com, Bergstein has also published fiction and nonfiction in New York Times/Well Family, The New York Post, The Awl, Slice, Bloomberg View,WSJ Speakeasy, Slate DoubleX, HelloGiggles and The Dirty Durty Diary, among others. She has appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition and Marketplace, and has been interviewed for WSJ Lunch Break and Yahoo Finance. In 2012, she traveled the country giving presentations on the subject of women and shoes. She worked in book publishing for over a decade and lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with her husband and their son.
"[Bergstein] has a great ear for an anecdote and "Brilliance and Fire," her cultural biography of diamonds, has an exotic cast of inspired entrepreneurs, brazen chancers and misguided millionairesses...exhilarating."
- Wall Street Journal
"This book is a gem."
-Shore News Today
“Across oceans and centuries, citizens and kings, the diamond has reigned as the lion of jewels. The reasons why, and how, sparkle—with intimate, historical, authoritative detail—all through Bergstein’s sweeping tale of the destructive and restorative powers of beauty, and our love affair, even obsession, with this enigmatic rock.”
-Sam Wasson, author of Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. and Fosse
“Engrossing and delightful... Bergstein’s purview is so broad and her writing so accessible that her compelling exploration of fashion, greed, and the dawn of American consumerism should find a broad readership.”
-Booklist (starred review)
"The appeal of the book is as prismatic as a brilliant cut diamond...this exhaustively and comprehensively researched book becomes more like a story, rather than a lesson."
-The New York Journal of Books
"[A] captivating journey...highly entertaining...significant, balanced and diligently researched."
"[A] fascinating story, well told by the author. Bergstein's book is an informative, well-written, and entertaining window onto another way of life."
"A captivating look into the world of diamonds that will be of interest to all readers."
“Every woman who loves her shoes should read this book - hell - every man who loves women’s shoes should read this book….Informative, interesting, and just plain fun.”
-New York Journal of Books
"An illuminating study of the history of women's shoes in the 20th Century...Wickedly provocative."
"If style defines the woman, and shoes a woman's style, then ooh la la, here's the definitive history and guide -- everything from Chinese bound feet to Ferragamo, from Hollywood favorites to running up one's credit card on the sine qua non of fashion."
- Mireille Guiliano, Author of FRENCH WOMEN DON'T GET FAT
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