Colette entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Colette, a Frenchwoman whose career began with the twentieth century, wrote nearly eighty volumes of fiction (often depicting lesbian or other scandalous sexuality), as well as journalism, memoirs (she is a great self-fashioner), and plays. Only a fraction is commented on here. Eight various collections of her letters have been printed, and many more remain unpublished. Her favourite topics are love, sensuality, and people's jockeying for power in relationships; she is a pioneer in the representation of female desire. Bibliographic Citation link.
28 January 1873 Colette was born at Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, in Burgundy, as Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. The name she chose to write under was her father's surname. Bibliographic Citation link.
By May 1900 Colette published her first novel, Claudine à l'école, written in co-operation with her husband, Henri Gauthier-Villars ('Willy'), and published in his name. Bibliographic Citation link.
1920 Colette's Chéri, which appeared this year—one of her best-known works, both as a novel and in a later dramatised version—is remarkable for its reversal of gender stereotypes. Bibliographic Citation link.
1941 Colette published Le Pur et l'Impur, a memoir of life in lesbian circles in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s. Bibliographic Citation link.
Late 1944 Colette published at Lausanne in neutral Switzerland a collection of her shorter prose, Gigi et Autres Nouvelles. French editions followed in 1945. Bibliographic Citation link.
1952 A combined translation from Colette by Roger Senhouse was published as Gigi. Julie de Carneilhan. Chance Acquaintances. Bibliographic Citation link.
8:30 3 August 1954 Colette died of cardiac arrest in Paris. Bibliographic Citation link.
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