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Françoise SAGAN

French Françoise SAGAN

born Françoise QUOIREZ

French playwright, novelist, and screenwriter

Source :  Albert Mauricel Daniel HEBERT

Born: on June 21, 1935 in Cajarc, France
Died: on September 24, 2004 in Honfleur, France


Biography

Sagan spent her early childhood in Lot, surrounded by animals, a passion that stayed with her throughout her life. Nicknamed 'Kiki', she was the spoilt youngest child of bourgeois parents - her father a company director, and her mother the daughter of landowners. Her family spent the war in the Dauphiné, then in the Vercors. She failed the entrance examinations to the Sorbonne in 1953. Though notorious all her life for her extravagant lifestyle, she would later attend school there but without graduating.

Her first novel, Bonjour Tristesse (Hello Sadness), was published in 1954, when she was 19 years old, and it was an immediate international success. It concerns the life of pleasure-driven 17-year-old Cécile, in particular her relationship with her boyfriend and her adulterous, playboy father. The novel allegedly influenced the Simon & Garfunkel song "The Sounds of Silence," the first words of which, "Hello darkness", echo Sagan's title. Her pseudonym was taken from a character ("Princesse de Sagan") in Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time).

Sagan's characters became something of an icon for disillusioned teenagers, in some ways similar to those of J.D. Salinger. During a literary career lasting until 1998, she produced dozens of works, many of which have been filmed. She maintained the austere style of the French psychological novel even while the nouveau roman was in vogue. The conversations between her characters are often considered to contain existential undertones. In addition to novels, plays, and autobiography, she wrote song lyrics and screenplays.

In the 1960s, Sagan became more devoted to writing plays, which, though lauded for excellent dialogue, were only moderately successful. Afterward, she concentrated on her career as a novelist.

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