Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan
When I was a student listening to chanteuses such as Françoise Hardy, talking passionately with fellow students about the 68 protests in Paris, I discovered Bonjour Tristesse. Francoise Sagan’s “scandalous” novel, published in 1954 when she was eighteen became an overnight sensation. I discovered it fifteen years after its original publication when I was at drama school. By then, we were well into the Flower Power movement, Free Love and living by one’s own moral choices, even if I was way behind the times, rather gauche and inexperienced. By the late 60s, Sagan’s tale of amorality and jealousy had lost some of its power to shock. Still, it resonated with me: the Anglo-Irish Catholic girl struggling to shuck her education. Especially as my father was known to have a philandering eye. That unique relationship between father and daughter with its sexual undertones has rarely been so well painted.