Colette: Earthly Paradise

(Nonfiction; Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1966)

Robert Phelps’s autobiography of Colette, composed from the essays, memoirs, portraits, and other nonfiction she wrote about her life, cannot be better characterized than by Phelps himself in his succinct “Editor’s Foreword”:

“Colette forever exclaims ‘Regarde! Look!’ If her autobiography, as assembled here, has any story, it is that of a born watcher. She did and said many things, but her deepest instinct, her readiest reflex, her surest hygiene, was to watch. (Advising a young writer, she once said, ‘Look for a long time at what pleases you, and longer still at what pains you…’)

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