Colette

Author: Colette

Profile: Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette mononymously known as Colette was a French novelist, author and a woman of letters. She was born in Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, Yonne, France and died in Paris, France. She was better known also as a journalist, actress and mime. One of her most memorable works is her novella Gigi (1944) which was the basis for the 1973 stage production and 1958 film having the same name.

Her father, Jules-Joseph Colette was a tax collector and war hero and her mother was Adele Eugenie Sidonie. Colette went to a public school as the family had a financial weak background.

Colette married a well known publisher and author Henry Gauthier-Villars in 1893 who was popular with a pen name, ‘Willy’. Colette devoted herself greatly to journalism during World War I.

Writing style: In her first 4 almost semi-autobiographical novels Colette presents the coming of age and young adulthood of the character. Willy her husband introduced her into avant-garde artistic and intellectual circles and encouraged Colette’s lesbian alliances and selected the subject matter for her novels.

Published Texts:

Notable works

1900 – Claudine at School

1901 – Claudine in Paris

1902 – Claudine Married

1903 – Claudine and Annie

1904 – Dialogues de betes

1907 – La Retraite sentimentale

1908 – Les Vrilles de la vigne

1910 – La Vagabonde

1913 – L’Envers du music hall

1913 – L’Entrave (The Shackle)

1916 – La Paix chez les betes

1917 – L’Enfant et les sortileges, Ravel opera libretto

1919 – Mitsou

1920 – Cheri

1922 – The Other Woman

1923 – Ripening Seed

1926 – The Last of Cheri

1928 – Break of Day

1929 – Sido

1929 – The Other One

1932 – The Pure and the Impure

1933 – La Chatte

1934 – Duo

1941 – Julie de Carneilhan

1943 – Le Kepi

1944 – Gigi

1944 – Paris de ma fenetre

1947 – L’Etoile Vesper

1949 – Le Fanal Bleu (The Blue Lantern)

1953 – Paradis terrestre

 

Awards and Acknowledgements:

1948 – Nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature

1935 – Elected to the Belgian Royal Academy

1945 – Elected to the Academie Goncourt

1949 – Elected to the Academie Goncourt and President in 1949

1920 – A Chevalier

1953 – Grand Officer of the Legion d’honneur

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