Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette

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Random House Publishing Group, Mar 30, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 640 pages
A scandalously talented stage performer, a practiced seductress of both men and women, and the flamboyant author of some of the greatest works of twentieth-century literature, Colette was our first true superstar. Now, in Judith Thurman's Secrets of the Flesh, Colette at last has a biography worthy of her dazzling reputation.

Having spent her childhood in the shadow of an overpowering mother, Colette escaped at age twenty into a turbulent marriage with the sexy, unscrupulous Willy--a literary charlatan who took credit for her bestselling Claudine novels. Weary of Willy's sexual domination, Colette pursued an extremely public lesbian love affair with a niece of Napoleon's. At forty, she gave birth to a daughter who bored her, at forty-seven she seduced her teenage stepson, and in her seventies she flirted with the Nazi occupiers of Paris, even though her beloved third husband, a Jew, had been arrested by the Gestapo. And all the while, this incomparable woman poured forth a torrent of masterpieces, including Gigi, Sido, Cheri, and Break of Day.

Judith Thurman, author of the National Book Award-winning biography of Isak Dinesen, portrays Colette as a thoroughly modern woman: frank in her desires, fierce in her passions, forever reinventing herself. Rich with delicious gossip and intimate revelations, shimmering with grace and intelligence, Secrets of the Flesh is one of the great biographies of our time.

NOTE: This edition does not include a photo insert.
 

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User Review  - kerns222 - LibraryThing

And they say we are the selfish generation. These guys (Colette's friends, enemies, etc.) did what they wanted. Drugs, sex, art--believing it was worth it, not paying attention to the rest of the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - baswood - LibraryThing

Colette's published works run to nearly 80 volumes. She lived the life of a libertine in fin de siecle France, was active in the first world war, was a showgirl actress and playwright, she lived with ... Read full review

Contents

Part One i
197
Notes and Sources 5
563
Acknowledgments
569
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Judith Thurman is the author of Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller, Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette, and Cleopatra’s Nose: 39 Varieties of Desire. A staff writer at The New Yorker, she lives in New York City.

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