The Sweetness of Life

The Sweetness of Life


"There is a form of lightness and grace in the simple fact of existence, regardless of occupation, of strong feelings, or of political commitments of any sort - and that is the only thing I have wanted to write about. About that little extra thing that is granted to all of us, a lust for life."

So begins Francoise Heritier, in her exploration of the things in life worth living for, the moments and events that give life flavour. An eminent anthropologist, now in her eighties, she draws on her own memories and the wisdom gained in a lifetime of exploration, to show how life is richer and more interesting than we often remember.


  • On first meeting her, one is struck by the way she combines gentleness with energy. A small woman with a fragile appearance for much of her life, she has suffered for many long years from a handicapping autoimmune disorder, which she faces philosophically while admitting with humour that she now avoids mirrors. She loves life too much to mope. She knows how to add a dash of gaiety to her misfortunes, has not lost a jot of her elegance, continues to delight her friends with her daube with carrots, is enchanted by Bach's harpsichord and by Chet Baker's trumpet. Françoise Héritier is basically optimistic. Without ignoring the world's misery, she is convinced that 'we live in a wonderful era'
    Michel Winock

About the author

Françoise Héritier

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