Violette's Embrace: A Novel

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Riverhead Books, 1996 - Fiction - 213 pages
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Violette Leduc was born the illegitimate daughter of a servant seduced by the son of the house. Growing up in the coldhearted glare of her mother, she suffered the guilt of having been born unwanted. In her thirties, during World War II, Leduc worked as a black-marketeer in a village in Normandy. There she shared a cottage with Maurice Sachs, an elegant, snobbish homosexual with whom she fell in love - the first of several such doomed affairs. It was Sachs who advised her to write of her childhood, the pain of her youth, and her passionate, tragic liaisons with women. In postwar Paris, Violette took up her station at the famed Cafe de Flore and began her worship of Simone de Beauvoir, who soon became her benefactor and most devastating critic. Though Violette was at the center of left-wing literary society, she struggled for two decades before achieving "overnight" notoriety from her autobiographical writings. With her self-appointed biographer as our guide, we follow Leduc to her beloved Provence, where she lived out her life, her success hard-won, her terror of loneliness unassuaged.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - startingover - LibraryThing

This novel reads like a non-fiction book as the narrator goes in search of information about de Beauvoir's and Genet's contemporary, Violette Leduc. In the narrator's interviews with Violette's friend ... Read full review

Violette's Embrace

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Artist Zackheim's debut novel uses a famiiar device, that of "detecting" fictional writer Violette LeDuc of wartime and postwar France and bringing her life to light. Sifting through the layers is a ... Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Michele Zackheim is the author of one previous novel, Violette's Embrace, and one work of nonfiction, Einstein's Daughter: The Search for Lieserl. Before turning to writing, Zackheim worked as a visual artist and has shown in numerous museums and galleries.

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