Description - Cheri by Colette
Cheri, first published in 1920, is considered Colette's finest novel. Exquisitely handsome, spoilt and sardonic, Cheri is the only son of a wealthy courtesan, a contemporary of Lea, the magnificent and talented woman who for six years has devoted herself to his amorous education. When a rich marriage is arranged for Cheri, Lea reluctantly decides their relationship must end. Cheri, despite his apparent detachment, is haunted by memories of Lea; alienated from his wife, his family and his surroundings, he retreats into a fantasy world made up of dreams and the past, a world from which there is only one route of escape. In her portrait of the fated love affair between a very young man and a middle-aged woman, Colette achieved a peak in her earthy, sensuous and utterly individual art. Cheri caused considerable controversy both in its choice of setting - the fabulous demi-monde of the Parisian courtesans - and in its portrayal of Cheri.
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(198mm x 129mm x 8mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
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Author Biography - Colette
'Me a feminist?' She scoffed in 1910. 'I'll tell you what the suffragettes deserve: the whip and the harem'. Colette was an intriguing and flamboyant figure. Born Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette in Burgundy in 1873 she moved to Paris at the age of 20 with her husband, the writer and critic, Henry Gauthiers-Viller (Willy). Forcing Colette to write, Willy published her novels in his name and the Claudine series became an instant success. She escaped her exploitative first husband to live by her pen and work in music-halls as a dancer. Colette had a lesbian love affair with Napoleon's niece, she married three times, had a baby at 40 and at 47, preferring 'passion to goodness', she seduced her teenage stepson. In the meantime she wrote stunning novels that were admired by Proust and Gide - Gigi, Sido, Cheri, and Break of Day. Colette lived to be over 80. She was the first woman President of the Academie Goncourt and was the first woman in France to be accorded a state funeral.