Sallenave, Danièle 1940-

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SALLENAVE, Danièle 1940-

PERSONAL: Born 1940, in Angers, France. Education: College graduate.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Éditions Gallimard, 5, rue Sébastien-Bottin, 75328 Paris cedex 07.

CAREER: Writer and educator. Taught literature.


Paysage de ruines avec personages (fiction), Aubier-Flammarion (Paris, France), 1975.

(With Francis Ponge) Digraphe: theéorie; [numéro special Francis Ponge], Éditions Flammarion (Paris, France), 1976.

Le voyage d'Amsterdam; ou Les règles de la conversation, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1977.

Les portes de Gubbio, Hachette (Paris, France), 1980.

(Translator, with Francois Wahl) Italo Calvino, Si par une nuit d'hiver un voyageur (novel), Seuil (Paris, France), 1981.

Un printemps froid: récits, P.O.L. (Paris, France), 1983.

La vie fantôme (novel), P.O.L. (Paris, France), 1986, translated by Lydia Davis as Phantom Life, Pantheon Books (New York, NY), 1989.

(Author of text) Un si grande âge—: une exposition, entretien avec Michel Serres, Centre National de la Photographie/Concours du Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, 1986.

Rome avec Danièle Sallenave, Autrement (Paris, France), 1986.

Conversations conjugales, P.O.L. (Paris, France), 1987.

Adieu: récit (fiction), P.O.L. (Paris, France), 1987.

Les éreuves de l'art: essai, Actes Sud Diffusion PUF (Paris, France), 1988.

(Author of text) Visages secrets, regards discrets: parcours photographique dans la DGA, Contrejour (Paris, France), 1990.

(With Antoine Vitez and George Banu) Le théâtre des idées, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1991.

Le don des morts: sur la littérature, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1991.

Passages de l'est: carnets de voyages, 1990–1991 (travel diaries), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1992.

(Author of text) Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn, photographs by Gérard Rondeau, Ministère de l'éducation nation-ale et de la culture, Département des affaires internationals: Vilo, (Paris, France), 1992.

Les trois minude du diable: roman (fiction), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1994.

Le principe de ruine, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1994.

Letres mortes: de l'enseignement des lettres en Général et de la culture Générale en particulier, Editions Michalon (Paris, France), 1995.

A quoi sert la littérature?: entretien avec Philippe Petit, Editions Textuel (Paris, France), 1997.

L'amazone du grand dieu (fiction), Bayard (Paris, France), 1997.

Viol: six entretiens, quelques lettres et une conversation finale, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1997.

Carnet de route en Palestine occupée: Gaza-Cisjordanie, novembre 1997, Stock (Paris, France), 1999.

(With Ismail Kadaré and Jamek Vaclav) Sarajevo légende(s), Grenoble Alpes Metropole (Grenoble, France), 1996.

(With Bruno Thibault) Entretien, American Association of Teachers of French (Carbondale, IL), 2000.

Un bagage poétique pour le 3e millénaire: entretiens, Raissance du Livre (Tournai, Belgium), 2001.

(With Péric Légasse) Nos amours de la France: république, identités, régions: entretien avec Phillipe Petit, Textuel (Paris, France), 2002.

D'amour: récit, Gallimard (Paris, France), 2002., Gallimard (Paris, France), 2004.

La fraga, Gallimard (Paris, France), 2005.

Contributor to Souvenirs improbables, Delpire (Switzerland), 1981; and Improbable memories, Matrix (France), 1981. Contributor to periodicals, including Le Monde.

Author's works have been translated into English, Spanish, Danish, and German.

SIDELIGHTS: French author Danièle Sallenave writes about an archeological dig that leads to a rumination on death and the relationship between the past and present in her 1975 debut novel Paysage de ruines avec personages. Writing in World Literature Today, Roland A. Champagne noted that "Sallenave offers much promise in the structural reactivity of this text as well as in its commentaries on culturally conditioned readers." In Adieu: récit, Sallenave presents a novella revolving around a young photographer and his great uncle. Told through the two characters' conversations with each other, the novel focuses on the young photographer's attempt to learn more about his uncle's life. In the face of death, the two characters come closer together as they reconcile their differences. Writing in the Review of Contemporary Fiction, John Taylor noted that "a delicate humor pervades the book; at the same time, a sadness." The reviewer also noted that the author "forges a splendidly sober language which, beneath its apparent banality, is vividly evocative of milieu and personality."

Phantom Life, published in French as La vie fantôme, is the author's first novel to be translated into English. The novel tells the story of a married schoolteacher named Pierre who is having an affair with a younger librarian named Laure. In the novel, Sallenave explores the different views the two protagonists take toward the affair. Pierre sees the four-year relationship as an exciting departure from his mundane but relatively happy life. Laure, on the other hand, struggles with a range of emotions, from a guilty conscious to her wish for a family life of her own even though she claims to pity married people. Meanwhile, she is living a sort of "phantom" life, her plans revolving around a man who is most often not there and whose calls she is constantly waiting for. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Pamela Erens noted that, "What's admirable about Phantom Life is that even as it exposes the banality of adultery it still makes us care about the fate of the two characters who are caught up in it." A Publishers Weekly contributor called the novel an "insightful, unsparing analysis of the love affair."

In Viol: six entretiens, quelques lettres et une conversation finale, Sallenave reveals the solitude and inner life of Mado, as the woman tells her story through a series of interviews. Mado's husband has been convicted of raping his daughter and stepdaughter, but Mado justifies his actions as being the fault of the two girls. "Sallenave very believably reveals Mado's thought process, her denial, what she accepts as truth," noted E. Nicole Meyer in French Review. Meyer added, "Through this extraordinary novel, Sallenave speaks to every reader. This is one of the strongest and most compelling novels I have read in a long time."



Esprit Createur, spring, 1999, Bruno Thibault, review of L'amazone du grand dieu, p. 93.

Express International, February 18, 1993, Angelo Rinaldi, review of Passages de l'est: carnets de voyages, 1990–1991, p. 7; September 8, 1994, Angelo Rinaldi, review of Les trois minude du diable, p. 63.

French Review, April, 1989, Marie Naudin, review of Adieu: récit pp. 907-910; May, 1993, Marianne Bosshard, review of Le don des morts: sur la littérature, pp. 1048-1049; December, 1995, Pascale Krumm, review of Le principe de ruine, pp. 373-374; February, 1997, Davida Brautman, review of Les trois minude du diable, p. 501; May, 1999, E. Nicole Meyer, review of Viol: six entretiens, quelques lettres et une conversation finale, pp. 1157-1158; December, 2000, Bruno Thibault, review of Entretien, p. 346.

Guardian (London, England), June 4, 2005, Jon Henley, "Le Monde editor 'defamed Jews.'"

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 1999, review of Phantom Life, pp. 494-495.

New York Times Book Review, December 24, 1999, Pamela Erens, review of Phantom Life, p. 17.

Publishers Weekly, April 28, 1989, review of Phantom Life, p. 60.

Review of Contemporary Fiction, summer, 1988, John Taylor, review of Adieu, pp. 319-310.

World Literature Today, winter, 1977, Roland A. Champagne, review of Paysage de ruines avec personages, p. 56.

Yale French Studies, fall, 1988, Deidre Dawson, "Daniele Sallenave: The Writer as Archaeologist," p. 237.