Francoise Sagan, Irene Ash
Mr B's review
A small but perfectly formed novella set in the French Riviera, Bonjour Tristesse is fun, scandalous and very, very French.
Sagan shocked 1950s society with the publication of this work, written when she was only a teenager herself. It tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cécile and her father, who devote themselves to enjoying the finer pleasures of life without worrying too much about respectability, until their hedonistic, carefree lifestyle comes under threat from the intelligent and responsible Anne.
Sagan’s depiction of the physical intensity of a hot summer on the Mediterranean coast and the cool, detached observations and actions of Cécile lend a fascinating existentialist facet to this spirited and vibrant text.
A Hay Festival and The Poole VOTE 100 BOOKS for Women Selection
‘Late into the night we talked of love, of its complications. In my father’s eyes they were imaginary. . . This conception of rapid, violent and passing love affairs appealed to my imagination. I was not at the age when fidelity is attractive. I knew very little about love.’
The French Riviera: home to the Beautiful People. And none are more beautiful than Cecile, a precocious seventeen-year-old, and her father Raymond, a vivacious libertine. Charming, decadent and irresponsible, the golden-skinned duo are dedicated to a life of free love, fast cars and hedonistic pleasures. But then, one long, hot summer Raymond decides to marry, and Cecile and her lover Cyril feel compelled to take a hand in his amours, with tragic consequences.
Bonjour Tristesse scandalized 1950s France with its portrayal of teenager terrible Cecile, a heroine who rejects conventional notions of love, marriage and responsibility to choose her own sexual freedom.
Francoise Sagan is the French F. Scott Fitzgerald * Guardian *
The novel that paved the way for the permissive society…one of the literary sensations of the century * Daily Telegraph *
A funny, thoroughly immoral and thoroughly French tale * The Times *
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