A quirky and compassionate tale of a woman's solitary wanderings through 1960s Paris, with an introduction by Deborah Levy.
Violette Leduc was born in Arras in 1907, the illegitimate child of a servant girl. Sent to boarding school before the First World War, Violette was later expelled upon the discovery of her love affair with both another female pupil and her music teacher. During the Second World War she published her memoir, The Bastard, which scandalized the literary world with its explicit account of lesbian love, sold 150,000 copies in its first year, and earned her the acclaim of Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre and Camus. In 2013 a film was made of her life, Violette. She died in 1972.
Leduc's short book is magnificently disproportionate to its length.
A moving, beautiful and authentic classic. We must be grateful
to the Penguin European Writers series, a precious venture in these
dark times, for bringing it back to us. -- John Banville
A forceful affirmation of the human spirit * Guardian *
Violette Leduc's novels are works of genius and also a bit peculiar -- Deborah Levy, from the introduction
She can capture the smells of a country childhood, dazzle with the lights of the Place de la Concorde or make you feel the silky slither of her eel-grey suit * Observer *
This book is as richly humane as anything else you're likely to read * Independent *
What is important about Violette Leduc is the extraordinary perfection she brings to experience and the exquisite skill she uses to describe it * Daily Mail *
The great French feminist writer we need to remember * Guardian *
A vastly under-read author -- Lauren Elkin, author of Flaneuse