Françoise Sagan Aimez-vous Brahms

23 February 2021  |  Culture

Françoise Sagan

France - the world's most romantic country. It's no wonder that Françoise Sagan's novels became so popular within France itself and to a huge international audience.

Françoise Sagan was the pseudonym of Françoise Quoirez, born in Carjac (department 46 Lot). She was educated at private and convent schools in France and Switzernad and attended the Sorbonne in Paris.

Her first novel, 'Bonjour Tristesse' was written in just three weeks at the age of 18 in 1954. The title is derived from a poem by Paul Éluard, "À peine défigurée", which begins with the lines "Adieu tristesse / Bonjour tristesse". The book was an overnight sensation.

Further successful novels followed about 'aimless people who are involved in tangled, often amoral relationships'; 'A Certain Smile', 1955, 'Aimez-Vous Brahms in 1959 and 'La Chamade' in 1965. Her 1957 novel 'Dans Un Mois, Dans Un An' ('Those Without Shadows') is the story of a year in the lives of nine worldly wise Parisians; "It is about many things, but because it is French it is mostly about the sinful waywardness of man and woman kind".

Françoise Sagan

Her career lasted dozens of years, producing dozens of works. Her personal life was as hectic and complicated as the characters she depicted in her novels. Married twice, she was friends with Truman Capote and Ava Gardrner. She drove an Aston Martin, loved gambling in Monte Carlo and in the 1990s, was was convicted with possession of cocaine.

Sagan died in Honfleur in 2004. She wrote her own obituary; "Appeared in 1954 with a slender novel, Bonjour Tristesse, which created a scandal worldwide. Her death, after a life and a body of work that were equally pleasant and botched, was a scandal only for herself." Sagan's life was dramatized in a biographical film, "Sagan", released in France on 11 June 2008.

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Hugh Atkins

Co-founder of Pure France. 20 years of visiting and photographing fabulous properties, meeting fascinating people and driving every main and back road in France.

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