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La Batarde: (The Bastard)

An obsessive and revealing self-portrait of a remarkable woman humiliated by the circumstances of her birth and by her physical appearance, La Batarde relates Violette Leduc's long search for her own identity through a series of agonizing and passionate love affairs with both men and women. When first published, La Batarde earned Violette Leduc comparisons to Jean Genet for the frank depiction of her sexual escapades and immoral behavior. A confession that contains portraits of several famous French authors, this book is more than just a scintillating memoir--like that of Henry Miller, Leduc's brilliant writing style and attention to language transform this autobiography into a work of art. First published in translation by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1965), most recent paperback by Riverhead (1997).
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About the Author

The illigitimate daughter of a servant girl, Violette Leduc started writing at the urging of Maurice Sachs and Simone de Beauvoir. Her first novel (In the Prison of Her Skin) was published by Albert Camus for ditions Gallimard and earned her praise from Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Cocteau, and Jean Genet. She went on to write eight more books, including Ravages, L'Affam e, and Mad in Pursuit, the second part of her literary autobiography.


La B tarde is one of the most extraordinry books to have come out of France in some time. KIRKUS REVIEWS Whoever speaks to us from the depths of his loneliness speaks to us of ourselves. In La B tarde, a woman is descending into the most secret part of herself and telling us about all she finds there with an unflinching sincerity, as though there were no one listening. -- Simone de Beauvoir

"La Batarde is one of the most extraordinary books to have come out of France in some time."

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