Pingeot, Mazarine 1974-
PINGEOT, Mazarine 1974-
Born December, 1974, in Avignon, France; daughter of François Mitterrand (former president of France) and Anne Pingeot (a museum curator). Education: Graduated from École Normale Supérieur Fontenay (now École Normale Supérieur Lettres et Sciences Humaines); postgraduate studies in philosophy.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Harvil/Random House UK Limited, 20 Vauxhall Bridge Rd., London SW1V 2SA, England.
Author, journalist, and television anchor. Paris Première (cable network), Paris, France, television anchor. Serves as father's executor.
Premier roman, Julliard (Paris, France), 1998, translation published as First Novel, Harvil (London, England), 1999.
Zeyn ou la reconquête (novel), Julliard (Paris, France), 2000.
Ils m'ont dit qui j'étais (title means "They Told Me Who I Was,"), Julliard (Paris, France), 2003.
Contributor of articles to ELLE.
Mazarine Pingeot, born in 1974 in Avignon, France, is the daughter of François Mitterrand, who would later become president of France, and Anne Pingeot, a museum curator. Out of respect to Mitterrand's long-term marriage to his wife, Danielle, the French press allowed the politician his privacy, and did not photograph Mitterrand with Mazarine until they began to appear together in public shortly before Mitterrand's death. Mitterrand spent weekdays with Anne and Mazarine, and weekends with his "official" family. Neither his relationship with Pingeot nor the existence of their child was a secret; Mitterrand confirmed that he had an illegitimate daughter in 1984 when asked by a television journalist.
In 1994, with his health failing, Mitterrand decided it was time to be seen publicly with Mazarine, first at restaurants and then at an official state dinner for the emperor of Japan. The press took that as permission to print photographs of father and daughter together. People contributors Nolan Cathy and William Plummer observed that "far from being outraged by Mitterrand's assault on family values, the nation applauded his courage. 'Where some saw amorality,' says former cabinet official Jean Glavany, 'we saw a wonderful love story of a father for his daughter, to whom he gave time—lots of time—attention and affection.'" When Mitterrand died, both Mazarine and her mother attended the funeral with his widow, as he had requested.
In First Novel, Pingeot pays homage to her father through the veil of fiction. The book tells the story of two Parisian students, Agathe and Victor, and recounts their relationship against the backdrop of the Left Bank. Robert Kee, writing for the Spectator, remarked that "the plot is less a plot than a running commentary on the pressures to which their love is subjected by the strains of being frenziedly young, social, modern, and intense in Paris and London." Running through the narrative is Agathe's relationship with her father, a publisher and her mother's long-time lover. In a telephone interview with Alan Riding for the New York Times, Pingeot said that "people write their lives, always to some extent transformed.… When one has a lot of experience, I'm sure one can write fiction without having to start with basic material. But for a first novel, it's simpler to take from the experience of life. It's more authentic in a way." Charles Trueheart, writing for the Washington Post, quoted Pingeot as telling a contributor to the Nouvel Observateur that "writing a novel … 'is the best way to sublimate the things one has lived, to transfigure them. To hold them, too, at a good distance from oneself—neither too close nor too far. A novel represents the intimate, but without confession.'"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Guardian (Manchester, England), June 20, 1999, Gaby Wood, "Let's Hope It's Her Last."
New York Times, April 6, 1998, Alan Riding, "The Father Is Fiction but Mimics Mitterrand," p. E1.
People, June 1, 1998, Nolan Cathy and William Plummer, "Without Apology: A President's Illegitimate Daughter Sees Herself as No Subject for Scandal," p. 89.
Spectator (London, England), June 26, 1999, Robert Kee, "The Thunder of Hooves," pp. 38-39.
Times Literary Supplement, June 25, 1999, Maren Meinhardt, review of First Novel, p. 37.
Washington Post, April 7, 1998, Charles Trueheart, "France's Sudden Celebrity: Mitterrand's Love Child Comes out with a Telling Novel," p. D11.
Centre d'Etudes Mazarine Pingeoti,http://cemapi.free.fr/ (August 27, 2004).
Word IQ Web site,http://www.wordiq.com/ (September 13, 2004), "Mazarine Pingeot."*