Françoise Sagan

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Françoise Sagan (actually Françoise Quoirez ; born June 21, 1935 in Cajarc , Département Lot ; † September 24, 2004 in Honfleur , Département Calvados ) was a French writer and for many years France's most successful bestselling author. Several of her novels were made into films . Her pseudonym refers to the Duke of Sagan , a character in a novel by Marcel Proust .


Françoise Sagan was the daughter of a wealthy, middle-class industrial family. She became known with her first book Bonjour tristesse , which she wrote while studying literature at the Paris Sorbonne when she was 18 and published in 1954. The novel about a 17-year-old who pushes two of her father's lovers out of his life during the summer holidays on the Mediterranean Sea triggered a major scandal and made Sagan known with very revealing depictions of the time . She received the Prix ​​des Critiques for it.

The book, written in just seven weeks, became a bestseller. Four million copies in 22 languages ​​had been sold worldwide within five years.

Sagan's work includes over 40 novels and plays, including: Aimez-vous Brahms? (“Do you love Brahms?”, 1959), Les Merveilleux Nuages (“The wonderful clouds”, 1961), Un orage immobile (“A standing thunderstorm”, 1989), Les Faux-Fuyants (1991) and Le Miroir égaré (“ Der errende Spiegel “, 1996). Her ten plays include Château en Suède (1960), Les Violons parfois (1961), La Robe mauve de Valentine (1963), Bonheur, impair et passe (1964) and Le Cheval évanoui (1966). In 1987 she published a biography about Sarah Bernhardt . She also wrote the dialogues for Claude Chabrol's 1963 film Landru .

Sagan also published two-volume memoirs under the title Avec mon meilleur souvenir (1984), in which she dedicated moving, haunting portraits to Billie Holiday , Tennessee Williams , Orson Welles , Rudolf Nurejew and Jean-Paul Sartre , as well as … Et toute ma sympathie (1993) .

In 1957 she suffered a serious car accident, after which her path began to become a lifelong drug addiction. The author married the publisher Guy Schoeller, after the divorce from him the sculptor Robert Westhoff, with whom she had a son. This marriage also ended in divorce. She maintained good contacts with François Mitterrand and Juliette Gréco .

In the 1990s, Sagan was sentenced to probation and fines on multiple charges for drug offenses and tax evasion . Most recently, she was sentenced to suspended sentence in 2002 for not paying taxes on four million francs (approx. 830,000 euros ), an alleged consultancy fee for a straw man from Elf Aquitaine .

Sagan died at the age of 69.

On January 1, 2009, the film Bonjour Sagan was released , with Sylvie Testud in the lead role, who is Sagan's life biographically. This was the shortened version of a two-part TV show that arte had broadcast a second time in full on August 27, 2010 and on August 21, 2014, with a running time of over three hours.


  • Bonjour sadness . Ullstein ISBN 3-550-06766-6 (original edition: Paris 1954, transl. Helga Treichl: 1955)
  • Un certain sourire. Quatre nouvelles, 1955. ("... a certain smile", transl. Helga Treichl, Klett 2000)
  • Dans un mois, dans un an, 1956. ("In a month, in a year", transl. Helga Treichl)
  • Blanche et Ophélie, 1957
  • Aimez-vous Brahms? 1959; Reclam Fremdsprachentexte, 2012 ("Do you love Brahms?", Translator Helga Treichl)
  • Château en Suède, 1960 ("A castle in Sweden", transl. Helga Treichl, Maria Dessauer)
  • Les merveilleux nuages, 1961 (“The wonderful clouds”, transl. Helga Treichl), ISBN 3-548-02492-0
  • Chamade, 1965 (Verlag René Julliard), ("Chamade", transl. Elisabeth Schneider, Ullstein, Berlin 1966)
  • La garde du coeur, 1968 ("The Guardian of the Heart")
  • The Guardian of the Heart, Gütersloh 1969
  • A little sun in the cold water, Gütersloh 1970
  • Blue spots on the soul, Gütersloh 1972
  • Un profile perdu. 1974
    • A lost profile. Translator Margaret Carroux. Ullstein, Berlin 1975, frequent new editions, also in book clubs
  • Eyes like silk. Stories. (Des yeux de soie) Translated by Margaret Carroux . Ullstein, Berlin 1977
  • Le lit défait. 1977
    • Edouard and Beatrice. Translator Margaret Carroux. Ullstein, Berlin 1978
  • A dream from Senegal. 1980
  • Welcome tenderness. 1981
  • The smile of the past. 1984
  • De guerre let. 1985 ("Burning Summer")
  • Un sang d'aquarelle. 1987
  • The silk fetter. 1989
  • The country party. 1991
  • Un chagrin de passage. 1994 ("And right into the heart")
  • Toxique
    • Übers. Waltraud Schwarze: I don't think I love anyone anymore. Illustr. Bernard Buffet . Anaconda, 2017
  • Derrière l'épaule. 1998
    • Übers. Claudia Feldmann: My look back. Ullstein, 2000
  • Les Quatre coins du coeur. Plon, Paris 2019
    • Übers. Waltraud Schwarze, Amelie Thoma: The dark corners of the heart. Ullstein, 2019. ISBN 978-3-550-20091-5 .

Filmography (selection)




  • Ursula March: "The dark corners of the heart": Millions of debts and a lost manuscript. A previously unknown novel by the French writer Françoise Sagan will be published from the estate. The work poses many a riddle. A review. In: The time . No. 49/2019, November 27, 2019 ( [November 27, 2019; beginning of article freely available]).

Web links


  1. To Helga Treichl. In: Manager Magazin : The fabulous world of the Treichls. Part 3, by Sibylle Zehle, June 19, 2017.
  2. Claudia Feldmann in the translator database of the VdÜ , 2019.