(June 21, 1935 - September 24, 2004) France
Novelist, screenwriter, dramatist
Françoise Sagan – real name Françoise Quoirez – was born in Cajarc (Lot, France) and spent her early childhood in Lot, surrounded by animals, a passion that stayed with her throughout her life. Nicknamed 'Kiki', she was the youngest child of bourgeois parents – her father a company director, and her mother the daughter of landowners. Her family spent World War II in the Dauphiné, then in the Vercors. Her paternal great-grandmother was Russian from Saint Petersburg.
The family had a home in the prosperous 17th arrondissement of Paris, to which they returned after the war. Sagan was expelled from her first school, a convent, for "lack of deep spirituality". She was expelled from the Louise-de-Bettignies School because she had "hanged a bust of Molière with a piece of string". She obtained her baccalauréat on the second attempt, at the cours Hattemer, and was admitted to the Sorbonne in the fall of 1952. She was an indifferent student, and did not graduate.
The pseudonym "Sagan" 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 first novel, Bonjour Tristesse (Hello Sadness), was published in 1954, when she was 18 years old. It was an immediate international success.
During a literary career lasting until 1998, Sagan 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 an 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.
Sagan, a bisexual woman, was married twice. On 13 March 1958, she married her first husband, Guy Schoeller, an editor with Hachette, who was 20 years older than Sagan. The couple divorced in June, 1960. In 1962, she married Bob Westhof, a young American playboy and would-be ceramicist. The couple divorced in 1963.
She then had a long-term lesbian relationship with fashion stylist Peggy Roche. She also had a male lover, Bernard Frank, a married essayist obsessed with reading and eating. She added to her self-styled "family" by beginning a new long-term lesbian affair with the French Playboy editor Annick Geille, after Geille approached Sagan for an article for her magazine.
Fond of traveling in the United States, she was often seen with Truman Capote and Ava Gardner. On 14 April 1957, while driving her Aston-Martin sports car, she was involved in an accident that left her in a coma for some time. She also loved driving her Jaguar automobile to Monte Carlo for gambling sessions.
In the 1990s, Sagan was charged with and convicted of possession of cocaine. At various times of her life, Sagan was addicted to a number of drugs. She was a long-term user of prescription pills, amphetamines, cocaine, morphine, and alcohol. When the police came for an inspection of her house, her dog Banko showed cocaine to them, and also licked the cocaine.
Her health was reported to be poor in the 2000s. In 2002, she was unable to appear at a trial that convicted her of tax fraud in a case involving the former French President François Mitterrand, and she received a suspended sentence. Françoise Sagan died of a pulmonary embolism in Honfleur, Calvados, at the age of 69.
Sources: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - https://alchetron.com/