Hannibal Free Public Library
January 16, 2008
in 1944, Gigi is a novella by the
French writer Colette.
It is about a wealthy cultured man of
fashion who discovers he is in love with a
young Parisian girl being groomed for a
career as a courtesan. Eventually they marry.
was the pen name of the French novelist
(January 28, 1873 – August 3, 1954). She
published around 50 novels, many with
autobiographical elements. Critics
divide her work and life into four phases:
the Claudine novels, life in the theater, the
politics of love, and reminiscences of youth
and family. Dominant themes of her writing
include the difficulty of reconciling a
woman’s struggle for independence and
self-realization with the insistent demands
of physical passion and the inevitable
requirements of adult relationships. Her
last novel and arguably her most popular, Gigi,
was made into a Broadway play and a highly
successful Hollywood motion picture.
acclaimed, Colette resisted labels, and her ouevre
is difficult for scholars to specify.
Is she a feminist writer?
A modernist? A woman’s writer?
on one reviewer’s summation of an earlier
relationship between the older man and the
innocent girl is a study of the irregular and
sometimes sordid friendships of the
protagonist with women.”
How can the comment also apply to Gigi?