AUTHOR OF THE WEEK February 1, 2021
Colette (Sidonie-Babrielle Colette)
“Books, books, books. It was not that I read so much. I read and re-read the same ones. But all of them were necessary to me. Their presence, their smell, the letters of their titles, and the texture of their leather bindings.”
“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and everything collapses.”
Colette (1873 – 1954) was the pen name for Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. French writer of the first half of the 20th century whose best novels, largely concerned with the pains and pleasures. Her greatest strength as a writer is her sensory evocation of sounds, smells, tastes, textures, and colors. She is known for her novel Gigi (1944), the story of a girl reared by two elderly sisters to become a courtesan, was adapted for both stage and screen. She wrote the influential Claudine books. The novel Cheri is considered to be her masterpiece. Her first husband, the nefarious Willy (Henry Gauthier-Villars), took the credit for her novels and the earnings. From 1949 she was increasingly crippled by arthritis. She ended her days, a legendary figure surrounded by her beloved cats, confined to her beautiful Palais-Royal apartment overlooking Paris.
Read more about this author at The Guardian: ‘She wrote novels, short stories, essays, memoirs and as a journalist reported on everything from domestic violence to the front lines of the first world war, from anorexia to literature, from fashion and cooking to fake orgasms.’
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