Litkicks Message Board Archive

Colette - brief bio

Posted to WritersAndGenres

Well, I'm not super familiar with the details of her life, or her works either. I do know that she became one of the most important and respected French novelists in the early 20th century.

In fact, she was a bit of a gender ground-breaker, as I understand it, having been elected to the prestigious but male-dominated Academie Goncourt and Academie Royal Belge.

Here's a brief paragraph I got off a web site:

"Colette (Sidonie-Gabrielle) 1873-1954 was born in the village of Saint-Saveur-en Puisaye, Burgundy. Considered one of France’s leading twentieth-century novelists, she was elected to the prestigious Academie Goncourt and Academie Royal Belge. Recognized for her warm, subjective style and the lyrical beauty of her prose as well as her prolific output, she produced over fifty books, numerous short stories and articles for some of the leading newspapers and periodicals of her era. Critics generally divide her work into four phases: the Claudine novels, life in the theater, the politics of love, and reminiscences of youth and family. Dominant themes concern the difficulty of reconciling a woman’s struggle for independence and self-realization with the insistent demands of physical passion and the inevitable requirements of adult relationships. Although Colette considered The Pure and the Impure (1932) to be her finest work, many critics believe the best representations of her craft are found in The Vagabond (1910), Cheri (1920), The Last of Cheri (1926), My Mother's House (1922) and Sido (1929) .