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Best-selling French novelist Françoise Bourdin dies

Best-selling French novelist Françoise Bourdin dies

French novelist Françoise Bourdin died on Sunday at the age of 70. Never invited on television sets and rarely quoted in the literary pages of newspapers, she was nevertheless one of the ten best-selling writers in France.

With more than 15 million books sold, translated into 12 languages, she is the author of nearly fifty books which have won immense success, some having been adapted for television, such as “Terre indigo”.

“I send my most sincere condolences to the family of Françoise Bourdin, to her two daughters, Fabienne and Frédérique”, said in a press release the general manager of the publishing group Editis, Michèle Benbunan, announcing her death in a press release. forwarded to AFP.

His latest book, “Un si beau horizon”, was released by Plon editions in early 2022.

“There is a certain contempt for popular literature”, regretted with AFP in 2019 the novelist.

In nearly 50 novels, Françoise Bourdin had “conquered a wide readership, with her family stories, her dramas and her joys, her limpid and chiseled writing”, estimated Michèle Benbunan.

“The teams of the group (Editis) keep the memory of an imaginative author, rigorous in writing and close to her readers, of a passionate and independent woman, who liked to talk about her love for speed, for horses and cars,” she added.

The novelist with the slightly rocky voice of an unrepentant smoker had chosen to live far from Paris, and claimed to write “stories that resemble us”, centered on family stories.

“People who despise what I write have obviously never read a single paragraph of it. It’s very unfair. It is a priori elitist, ”she defended herself before AFP.

But “I do not disappoint my readership”. “Those who take the trouble to read me find a certain pleasure in it”.

“At one point, we said to ourselves that my readership, mostly female and over 50, was going to crumble”. “In reality, it didn’t happen that way. My readership was replenished with the girls who found one of my books at their mother’s and bought some in turn. It continues and it’s great …”, welcomed Françoise Bourdin.

Born in Paris in 1952, Françoise Bourdin comes from a family of artists. His parents, Georges Bourdin and Geori Boué, were famous opera singers, touring abroad.

The novelist remembers seeing her mother performing the title role of “Mireille”, Charles Gounod’s opera, at the Arles theater in the south of France. “When Mireille died in her lover’s arms, I started crying all the tears in my body, surprised to see the public, standing up, applauding wildly,” she liked to say.

She discovers literature by drawing from her father’s vast library and is passionate about Giono, Colette, Mauriac; then Baudelaire and Nerval, replaced by Proust, Tolstoy, the Brontë sisters, Sartre, Zola, Dumas and Hugo…

The teenager also writes short stories and soon a first novel (“Les soleils moist”) that the publisher Julliard publishes in 1972 when she is not yet of age.

A second novel, “De Vagues Herbes Jaunes” appeared the following year and was adapted for television.

The death of his father in 1973 upsets the cards. Françoise Bourdin feels the need to intoxicate herself with new sensations. There is this “devouring passion” for horses. In her little study, she kept a photo of herself at full gallop. She also owned a Triumph Spitfire – an English convertible – to satisfy her need “to go fast”.

You can find Françoise Bourdin’s novels on QUB Book.

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