3 biographies of women to read urgently

Biographie Femmes Feministes

What could be more inspiring for International Women's Rights Day than to (re) discover the exceptional lives of women who still mark our history? From the fascinating career of the Academician Dominique Bona to the fascinating fate of the Livanos sisters through the thrilling life of the writer and journalist Edmonde Charles-Roux , three biographies of exceptional women who command admiration.

Edmonde Charles-Roux: the woman of 1000 lives

Who is it ?

Military nurse, resistance fighter, director of Vogue , laureate and then member of the Académie Goncourt Edmonde Charles-Roux , who died in 2016, inspires as much as she fascinates with her many lives. In her biography, Dominique de Saint Pern looks at the youth of this writer who was an academician known for her stubbornness, her perfect bun and her Chanel suit . Raised in Prague then in Rome , Edmonde joined the resistance during the dark years of the Occupation before going to Verdun in 1940 to join an ambulance corps. It was after the war that the one who would become Gaston Defferre's wife launched into the women's press to twist the codes.

Why will she inspire you?

Because despite the setbacks she has known, such as the untimely death of her first and great love Camillo , the one who will become the president of the jury Goncourt has always been able to bounce back by probing the capacities that lay dormant in her: solar aura, intelligence beyond the common and above all iron will. Enough to pimp our little quiet lives!

Livre de Dominique de Saint Pern, éditions Stock

Edmonde , Dominique de Saint Pern, Stock, € 21.50

The Livanos sisters: the cursed divas

Who is it ?

Eugenia and Athina (aka Tina ) Livanos are two Greco-American sisters famous for dating and marriages. One marries Onassis , the other Niarchos : two sworn enemies, two Greek billionaire shipowners. Love, fame and money will constitute the life of these two sublime divas who will frequent the greatest of the time, from Jacquie and Bob Kennedy to Prince Rainier via Maria Callas, Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly . The particularity of this sibling? From the sumptuous life, the fate of the two sisters will take on the air of Greek tragedy: jealous of each other, deceived by their husbands ( Tina's husband will cheat on her with Maria Callas ), mothers unable to take care of their own. children, repeated divorces, Tina and Eugenia will never find the shoe to their feet, the latter will even end up swallowing barbiturates to end her unhappy existence.

Why will they inspire you?

Because their life will make you appreciate yours! By constituting, in spite of themselves, the perfect heroines of novels, tears of champagne flow freely in this biography which underlines the intrepidity of the rich and worldly environment. If these two sisters are drowning in high fashion clothes and diamonds, their toxic relationships with men will be the reason for their happiness. Tina , after divorcing Niarchos , remarried John-Spencer Churchill and eventually marry the widower of… her own sister! Did you say unhealthy?

Livre de Stéphanie des Horts, éditions Albin Michel

The Livanos sisters , Stéphanie des Horts, Albin Michel, € 19

Dominique Bona: the mirror of a beautiful era

Who is it ?

Joining the very closed circle of women academics in 2013, the writer and biographer Dominique Bona has frequented the cream of French culture from a young age. In her intimate story, she recounts the crisp adventures of her literary stalking: repeated rabbits posed by Romain Gary's entourage with the humorous features of her professional godmother Simone Gallimard , the imaginary family she has formed in over time would make the most literary of us drool with jealousy! The icing on the cake ? The academician defends tooth and nail the feminization of language to “ allow women to get out of linguistic discomfort ”. Hat!

Why will she inspire you?

Because in his delicate autobiography, Dominique Bona humbly immerses you behind the scenes of a teeming era which has seen the greatest artists and writers pass by. Elegant to the tips of her nails, with a stunning feather, the one that revives in her books the most eminent women of France and elsewhere ( Colette , Camille Claudel , Gala Dali , Clara Malraux , Berthe Morisot ...) defends art of the French biography while knowing how to show a delicious humor!

Livre de Dominique Bona, éditions Gallimard

My secret lives , Dominique Bona, Gallimard, 20 €

Also discover: The girl power exhibition to watch in your sofa

written by

Read this next

The week of Do It