Dorner, Françoise 1949-

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Dorner, Françoise 1949-


Born June 17, 1949, in Paris, France.


Home—Paris, France. Agent—The French Publishers' Agency, 853 Broadway, New York, NY 10003-4703.


Actress, playwright, director, and novelist. Film acting credits include Emilienne, La Rage au Poing, and Flic Story, all 1975; En l'Autre Bord, 1978; Black Mirror, 1981; Le Jumeau, 1984; Gros dégueulasse, 1985; L'Invité Surprise, 1989; Feu sur le Candidat, 1990; and Les Amies de Ma Femme, 1992. Television acting credits include Tribunal de l'Impossible: Le Fabuleux Grimoire de Nicolas Flamel, 1967; Le Petit Monde de Marie-Plaisance, 1969; La Mort des Capucines, 1971; Le Temps de Vivre, le Temps d'Aimer, 1973; Les Enfants des Autres and Amoureues Joséphine, both 1974; Les Exilés, 1975; La Pêche Miraculeuse, 1976; La Petite Fadette and La Belle Vie, both 1979; Lundi, 1980; Le Bouffon and L'Antichambre, both 1981; La Marseillaise, L'Accompagnateur, and Je Tue Il, all 1982; Fabien de la Drôme and Quelques Hommes de Bonne Volonté, both 1983; Madame et Ses Flics, 1985; L'Homme de Mes Rêves, 1994; La Duchesse de Langeais, Les Grandes Personnes, and L'Affaire Dreyfus, all 1995; Le Parfum de Jeannette, 1996; Le Président et la Garde-Barrière, 1997; Les Pédiatres, 1998; La Faux, 2003; and episodes of series En Votre Âme et Conscience, 1966 and 1969, Les Cinq Dernières Minutes and L'Amateur ou S.O.S. Fernand, both 1967, Die Melchiors, 1972, Les Amours de la Belle Époque and Miss, both 1979, and Les Enquêtes du Commissaire Maigret, 1983. Theater appearances include Des Journees Entieres Dans le Arbres, produced on Broadway, 1976; and Bonheur Parfait (also author and director), produced in Paris, France, 1999.


Prix du Jeune Théâtre de l'Académie Française, 1994, for plays L'Hirondelle and Le Parfum de Jeannette; Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman, 2004, for The Woman in the Row Behind.


La Fille du Rang Derrière (novel), Éditions Albin Michel (Paris, France), 2004, translation by Adriana Hunter published as The Woman in the Row Behind, Other Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Author of plays, including Bonheur Parfait, L'Hirondelle, and (with Jean-Claude Carriere) Le Parfum de Jeannette, with the latter adapted by Dorner and Carriere as a television program, broadcast in 1996. Author of television plays Une Femme sur Mesure, 1997, and La Secrétaire du Père Noël (adapted from a story by Marianne Sägebrecht), 1999.


French actress, playwright, and screenwriter Françoise Dorner made her debut as a novelist with La Fille du Rang Derrière, which was published in English as The Woman in the Row Behind. Its narrator-protagonist is Nina, a young married Parisian who is bored with her life, sexually and otherwise. She decides to seek sexual adventure through encounters with various men who are customers at the newsstand she operates with her husband, Roger. But she wants a satisfying sex life with Roger as well, so she disguises herself and seduces him in a movie theater—but he falls in love with the woman she has created.

The book won Dorner France's prestigious Prix Goncourt for best first novel. Library Journal contributor Leigh Anne Vrabel found some of the characters one-dimensional and some of the plotting "clumsy," but added that the novel "demonstrates talent and potential." Entertainment Weekly critic Jennifer Reese deemed some portions of the story "saucy," others dull. Kai Maristed, writing in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, concluded: "While one might doubt whether The Woman in the Row Behind stands up fully as a novel, it succeeds beautifully as tragic farce."

A Kirkus Reviews commentator praised the book highly, remarking that "Dorner's writing is hypnotic," making a rather far-fetched plot "utterly believable." Andrew Ervin, writing in the New York Times Book Review, called The Woman in the Row Behind "a precise and thought-provoking novel of ideas." The Kirkus Reviews critic further described the book as "sophisticated" and "stylish," with a story that is "half Madame Bovary, half The Story of O."



Entertainment Weekly, June 16, 2006, Jennifer Reese, review of The Woman in the Row Behind, p. 79.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2006, review of The Woman in the Row Behind, p. 99; February 15, 2006, "Spring & Summer 2006 Preview: 35 Eagerly Awaited, Must-Read Titles plus 10 Hot Beach Reads," p. S1.

Library Journal, Leigh Anne Vrabel, April 15, 2006, review of The Woman in the Row Behind, p. 65.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, September 3, 2006, Kai Maristed, review of The Woman in the Row Behind.

New York Times Book Review, September 24, 2006, Andrew Ervin, review of The Woman in the Row Behind.


Complete Review, (October 3, 2006), review of The Woman in the Row Behind.

Curled Up with a Good Book, (October 3, 2006), Barb Radmore, review of The Woman in the Row Behind.

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Dorner, Françoise 1949-

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