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Stop everything: an unpublished novel by Françoise Sagan hits bookstores

Breaking news! An unpublished novel by Françoise Sagan is coming to bookstores! No, you're not dreaming. If the iconic writer died in 2004, her son Denis Westhoff found an unfinished manuscript in his mother's business. On the program: caricatured provincial notables, psychiatric hospitals, benevolent pimp mothers and cabriolets that drive too fast. Why you will love the Saganesque back-to-school phenomenon:

A 100% Sagan novel

Audacity, creaking humor, elegance: Sagan addicts will not be disappointed. Sixty-five years after Bonjour tristesse , the writer has lost none of her characteristic pen in this manuscript which depicts the narrow world of provincial notables obsessed with money. In a timeless tale where it is illegal to refuse to sleep with your husband, where the convertibles are rolling at full speed and where the women are either silly or profiteering, we find with joy the acerbic sarcasm of the “ charming little monster ”.

A little sagacious mouthfeel? “ ... It would be more complicated, and even more annoying, to explain why the Cressons themselves had made their fortune in watercress, chickpeas and other small vegetables (...) This uninteresting topic would require, at least to the author, more imagination than memory. ”A pure treat.

Hilarious and caricatured characters

As usual, Sagan doesn't give gifts and spares no one: neither men nor women. At home, the bourgeoisie are exaggeratedly snobs and the bastards particularly dreadful: son of Henri Cresson, a rich and unfriendly industrialist who made his fortune in vegetables, Ludovic is just recovering from a serious car accident after having spent years unfairly in a psychiatric hospital, stuffed with drugs (should we see Sagan herself?).

Persuaded to have a now deranged husband for her husband, his wife Marie-Laure, a “ sophisticated without culture ” laughs at him and stubbornly refuses her bed while Fanny, his mother, does not remain indifferent to the charm of her son-in-law. .. All the characters camp on their position in the heart of this residence as gigantic as it is austere. It is therefore indeed an indomitable Sagan that we find in this incredible novel and filled with despair where people live together “ like sad pets ”.

An unexpected treasure

If the novel leaves us despite everything a little taste of unfinished, the history of the manuscript would be enough to make a good book pitch. In the preface, Denis Westhoff , the son of Françoise Sagan , recounts having discovered this novel almost by miracle after all the property of the novelist had been sold, given or seized. The book had been so photocopied that the outlines of the letters were barely legible. If he admits having retouched the novel, Denis took care to leave intact the style and the tone (recognizable among a thousand) of his mother. An unexpected and unexpected treasure therefore. As if from up there, the intrepid Sagan continued to play his unexpected pirouettes, a cigarette in his hand and a smile on his lips.

The Four Corners of the Heart , Françoise Sagan, Plon, € 19

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