Baroche, Christiane 1935–

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Baroche, Christiane 1935–

(Christiane Marie Thérèse Baroche)

PERSONAL: Born February 20, 1935, in Paris, France, daughter of André and Helène (Lineder) Baroche. Education: Attended Lycée Camille Sée and École de Pharmacie.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Editions Grasset, 61 rue des Saints-Pères, Paris 75006, France.

CAREER: Institut Curie, Paris, France, biologist; Institut National de la Santè et de la Recherche Mèdicale (INSERM; national institute for health and medical research), Paris, engineer.

AWARDS, HONORS: Prix Goncourt, 1978, for Chambres, avec vue sur le passé.


Les feux du large (stories), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1975.

Absence (literary criticism), Atelier Marcel Jullian (Paris, France), 1978.

Chambres, avec vue sur le passé (stories), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1978.

L'écorce indéchiffrable (poems), photographs by Lucien Clergue, Sud (Marseille, France), 1978.

Pas d'autre intempérie que la solitude (stories), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1980.

(With Jacques Chancel) Le livre franc (nonfiction), Diffusion, Presses Universitaires de France (Paris, France), 1983.

Un soir, j'inventerai le soir (stories), Diffusion, Presses Universitaires de France (Paris, France), 1983.

Perdre le souffle (stories), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1983.

Les rimes intérieures du vertige et du vent (poems and prose), Sud (Marseille, France), 1984.

Plaisirs amers (novel), Diffusion, Presses Universitaires de France (Paris, France), 1984.

Marguerite Yourcenar, Sud (Marseille, France), 1984.

Michel Tournier (literary criticism), Sud (Marseille, France), 1986.

L'hiver de beauté (novel), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1987.

(With others) Maupassant miroir de la nouvelle (literary criticism), Presses Universitaires de Vincennes (Saint-Denis, France), 1988.

Giocoso, ma non—(stories), Presses de la Renaissance (Paris, France), 1990.

Le boudou, Grasset (Paris, France), 1991.

Les ports du silence (novel), Grasset (Paris, France), 1992.

Bonjour, gens heureux … (stories), Julliard (Paris, France), 1993.

A la tour abolie (poems and prose), Sud (Marseille, France), 1993.

La rage au bois dormant (novel), 1995.

Les petite bonheurs d'Héloïse (novel), Grasset (Paris, France), 1996.

Saint-John Perse: poète devant la mer (literary criticism), photographs by Lucien Clergue, J & D Èditions (Biarritz, France), 1996.

Ailleurs sous un ciel pâle, Le Castor Astral (Bordeaux, France), 1997.

Petit traité de mauvaises manières (novel), Grasset (Paris, France), 1998.

L'homme des cendres (novel), Grasset (Paris, France), 2001.

Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud inédit (literary criticism), Autres Temps (Marseille, France), 2002.

Contributor to anthologies, including Maupassant, Baroche, Marsan, Bené (Paris, France), 1989, and Parallèles, L'instant même (Quebec, Canada), 1996.

SIDELIGHTS: Christiane Baroche is a French biologist with a particular interest in the sea. She is also a prolific author of fiction and poetry. Her first book, Les feux du large, is a collection of ten short stories that focus on the sea, drawing parallels between the emotions stirred up by the sea and those that are to be found in human relationships. Elsa Vineberg, who reviewed this debut effort in World Literature Today, wrote that Baroche "is equally capable of recounting an adventure from a male or female point of view, and she has a uniquely developed sensitivity to the ambitions and feelings of both sexes."

Pas d'autre intempérie que la solitude is a collection of stories in which Baroche creates memorable women, including one who would generally be considered undesirable for her lack of beauty, but who is intelligent and courageous, having hid fleeing Jews during the Nazi occupation. French Review contributor Bettina L. Knapp stated that the book's prose "is clear and concise, limpid at times, spellbinding because of its rhythmic qualities, its gentle discipline." Knapp concluded that Baroche "writes with knowledge and sensitivity. Her works are exciting and thought-provoking."

Les ports du silence is a novel that, Lee Fahnestock explained in World Literature Today, "pays homage to works of the Provençal authors Jean Giono and Henri Bosco." It tells the story of Jaime Clerg, who leaves his job as an engineer in Paris to return to the property left to him by Adelaide, the aunt who raised him after his half-Jewish parents died during the war. There in peace and seclusion, he begins to cultivate orchids, as well as a friendship with Louise, an elderly woman who had worked for his aunt, and who keeps him informed about the residents of the area. Fahnestock said in her conclusion that "delving deeper into the repetitive pattern of strong but rarely acknowledged kinships, the plot goes through a late rush of revelations before settling back into an almost mystic accommodation to the landscape, described by Baroche with love and care."

In her novel L'hiver de beauté, Baroche features the character of Madame de Merteuil as she is left by Choderlos de Laclos in his eighteenth-century novel Les liaisons dangereuses, disfigured by the loss of an eye, sick with smallpox, and financially and socially in ruin. Baroche renames the woman renames Isabelle and returns her to her home in Holland. "However," said Gill Rye in Paragraph, "Baroche's novel is not simply a sequel to Laclos's text. The very fact that Isabelle has a first-name, a name of her own and not that of her husband or father, is the first step in the (re) construction of that character's identity." Where the character of Laclos's novel depended on men for her identity and success, Baroche's Isabel finds comfort in a community of women and reestablishes her bond with her sister. Rye wrote that L'hiver de beauté could be described "as a woman-centered novel portraying women's conversations, bodies, feelings, everyday lives and experiences. It could also undoubtedly be seen as a feminist novel for its recuperation and reconstruction of the female character from Laclos's canonical text, and for its interrogation of the links between beauty and women's sexuality."



French Review, March, 1981, Bettina L. Knapp, review of Pas d'autre intempérie que la solitude, pp. 613-614.

Paragraph: A Journal of Modern Critical Theory, July, 1996, Gill Rye, "Reading Identities with Kristeva and Cixous in Christiane Baroche's L'hiver de beauté," pp. 98-113.

World Literature Today, winter, 1977, Elsa Vineberg, review of Les feux du large, p. 53; spring, 1984, A. Thiher, review of—Perdre le souffle, p. 239; spring, 1985, Mechthild Cranston, review of Les rimes intérieures du vertige et du vent, p. 239; summer, 1993, Lee Fahnestock, review of Les ports du silence, p. 581; autumn, 1994, Pamela A. Genova, review of Bonjour, gens heureux …, p. 775.

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Baroche, Christiane 1935–

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