If you believe old photographs, then Susi Wyss (born 1938) was an angel in satin, but the look from her darkly outlined eyes tells a different story. Susi's richly illustrated memoirs, Guess Who Is the Happiest Girl in Town, are the stuff that dreams are made of elsewhere.
After visiting the Zurich fashion school, Susi meets an aristocratic couple in Saint-Tropez, which introduces her to the world of European jet-set. It may be that the whole hype about the "sweet life" is somehow tasteless, but once it was so exciting and outrageous how Susi moved in that artists like the Swiss Manon collaborated with her or photographers like June (aka Alice Springs) and Helmut Newton immortalised her in books and magazines as a sexually liberated, feminist champion.
In her apartment she invited to extravagant dinner parties, at which Tout-Paris reversed. In addition to delicious food, "hashish, LSD, mescaline, cocaine, love for three, sado-maso and massages in the small rooftop pool on the menu," says Susi. Her friends included Paul Getty, Baron Eric de Rothschild, Kenneth Anger, Iggy Pop, Beatnik Brion Gysin, Dennis Hopper and fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez.
Only in her mid-thirties did Susi Wyss turn her lifestyle into money and work as a call girl, whose illustrious clientele included greats from politics, business and the arts. After a short time she was overwhelmed with satisfying the demand and recruited more beautiful girls. In no time Susi became a world-famous "Madame". In Guess Who Is the Happiest Girl in Town, the darker side of the same coin opens up: the loss of youth, deaths and the time when drugs and alcohol were no longer just fun.
When she was forty, she ended her call-girl career and began writing about her life. "If Xaviera Hollander [a Dutch ex-porn starlet, ...] could write a sex book, why not me too?" So it is with Susi's sensual slapstikhafte tales: If they do not hit one directly in the heart, then much deeper, among the waistline.
840 pages, 23 x 15 cm, hardcover, Edition Patrick Frey (Zurich).