Quoirez, Françoise 1935-2004
QUOIREZ, Françoise 1935-2004
OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born June 21, 1935, in Cajarc, France; died from a lung blood clot September 24, 2004, in Honfleur, France. Author. Best known by her pen name, Françoise Sagan, Quoirez was a best-selling novelist most often remembered for her 1954 debut, Bonjour tristesse. While attending the Sorbonne in the 1950s, she knew that she was failing her courses and that her parents would be upset with her. She therefore came up with a plan to appease them: publish a novel. Far beyond her expectations, Bonjour tristesse became a huge success, selling over 800,000 copies in the author's native France and over a million in the United States, where it appeared at the top of the New York Times best-sellers list. It won Quiorez the Prix des Critiques and was adapted to film in 1958. Critics speculated this success was due to the fact that the novel captures the spirit of teenage rebellion and free love that was emerging in the 1950s. Other early novels, some of them translated into English, include A Certain Smile (1956), which was adapted as a 1958 movie; Those without Shadows (1957); and Aimez-vous Brahms? (1961), which was adapted to the screen as Goodbye Again in 1961. As the years passed, however, Quoirez's style of writing became less fashionable, and her novels suffered in sales accordingly. Nevertheless, the author continued to publish novels throughout her career, as well as writing plays, short stories, movie scripts, and even song lyrics; she also directed the 1977 film Les fougères bleues. Her wild lifestyle, which seemed to parallel that of her characters, included two short-lived marriages, drug use, and a penchant for driving fast sports cars, resulted in a 1957 accident in which she fractured her skull. Twice sent to prison for narcotics use in the 1990s, she was convicted of tax fraud in 2002, though her ill health by this time kept her from attending court. At any rate, claims for back taxes would have been fruitless, since the author claimed to be bankrupt. Among her other novels in English translation are The Heart-Keeper (1968), Scars on the Soul (1974), Salad Days (1984), and Evasion (1993); plays by Quoirez include Le rendez-vous manque (1958), La robe mauve de Valentine (1963), and L'exces contraire (1987). For her body of work, she was awarded the Prix de Monaco in 1985.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2004, p. B15.
New York Times, September 25, 2004, p. B13.
Times (London, England), September 27, 2004, p. 54.
Washington Post, September 27, 2004, p. B4.