Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061440793, 130pp.
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Endearing, self-absorbed, seventeen-year-old Cecile is the very essence of untroubled amorality. Freed from the stifling constraints of boarding school, she joins her father a handsome, still-young widower with a wandering eye for a carefree, two-month summer vacation in a beautiful villa outside of Paris with his latest mistress, Elsa. Cecile cherishes the free-spirited moments she and her father share, while plotting her own sexual adventures with a "tall and almost beautiful" law student. But the arrival of her late mother's best friend, Anne, intrudes upon a young girl's pleasures. And when a relationship begins to develop between the adults, Cecile and her lover set in motion a plan to keep them apart...with tragic, unexpected consequences.
The internationally beloved story of a precocious teenager's attempts to understand and control the world around her, Francoise Sagan's Bonjour Tristesse is a beautifully composed, wonderfully ambiguous celebration of sexual liberation, at once sympathetic and powerfully unsparing.
Diane Johnson, a three-time National Book Award finalist (most recently in 1997 for Le Divorce), is the author of twelve previous books. She divides her time between San Francisco and Paris.