The Complete Claudine
Claudine at School/Claudine in Paris/Claudine Married/Claudine and Annie
Publication Date: September 2001
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Colette, prodded by her first husband, Willy, began her writing career with Claudine at School, which catapulted the young author into instant, sensational success. Among the most autobiographical of Colette's works, these four novels are dominated by the child-woman Claudine, whose strength, humor, and zest for living make her seem almost a symbol for the life force.
Janet Flanner described these books as "amazing writing on the almost girlish search for the absolute of happiness in physical love . . . recorded by a literary brain always wide awake on the pillow.
Judith Thurman is the author of "Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller" and "Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette". A staff writer at "The New Yorker", she lives in New York City.
Antonia White was born in 1899 and educated at in London at St. Paul's and RADA. She worked as a journalist and in the Foreign Office, had four novels published and translated over thirty novels from French. She died in Sussex in 1980.
"The paradoxes of great literature are those of human nature, and Colette is nothing if not human . . . Accessible and elusive; greedy and austere; courageous and timid; subversive and complacent; scorchingly honest and sublimely mendacious; an inspired consoler and an existential pessimist—these are the qualities of the artist and the woman. Its is time to rediscover them." --From the Introduction
"Delighted and quivering with life . . . Imbued with the most characteristic elements of the personality we have come to call simply Colette." --Robert Phelps, The New York Times