Published October 2012128 pages, Paperback
‘Love, one of the great commonplaces of existence, is slowly leaving mine.’
Colette wrote this line for the prose poem which became Break of Day. It appears to be a slice of autobiography: a woman called Colette passes a summer in Provence, contemplating her past, laying plans for a future which may not include sexual love.
Colette’s ‘real life’ weaves in and out of the pages, which shine with some of the most moving and lyrical lines she ever wrote.
But she added an epigraph: ‘Are you imagining, as you read me, that I am
portraying myself? Have patience: this is merely my model.’
Break of Day shares much of the reality of Colette, but in it she has shown
the true power of her writing in perhaps her most original novel of all.
‘What delights and endears in the book is, as always, Colette’s precise, tender, enchanted description of sensuous pleasure ...Incomparable.’ Times Literary Supplement
- French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873 -1954), is best known for her novel Gigi
, upon which the stage and film musical comedies by Lerner & Loewe, of the same title, were based. She led a highly dramatic and colourful life, embracing three marriages and numerous affairs with men and women, including her step-son, and sheltering her Jewish husband and friends during the German occupation of Paris.Lisa Allardice
- Lisa Allardice is editor of Guardian Review.