Novelist Claire Etcherelli dies aged 92

Novelist Claire Etcherelli dies aged 92

His autobiographically inspired Roman Élise or real life received the 1967 Femina Prize before being adapted for the cinema a year later.

The novelist Claire Etcherelli, revealed with Élise or real lifedied at the age of 92, we learned Thursday from his last publisher, Le Bord de l’eau. Élise or real life (editions Denoël), a novel of autobiographical inspiration, had received the 1967 Femina Prize and was adapted to the cinema in 1970, with Marie-Jose Nat. The Femina jury was very divided that year, never finding an absolute majority, and waiting for the tenth round where a simple majority was enough.

The book recounted the clandestine love in Paris between two workers, a French woman of very modest origin and an Algerian immigrant militant for independence. He exhibited the taboo of racism in French society of the 1950s and 60s, in particular the bullying suffered by immigrants from the Maghreb. “I felt sorry for this hunted game, these people caught between the brutal surveillance of the French police and the obligations imposed on them by the leaders of the FLN” (Algerian National Liberation Front), she explained in The world .

Élise or real life was also a realistic novel hailed for aptly portraying the condition of young women in factories. Simone de Beauvoirwho had appreciated it, had Claire Etcherelli hired in 1973 as editorial secretary within the journal Modern times. The author published between 1971 and 2021 five other novels, including the first two published by Gallimardwhich did not enjoy the same success.

Originally from Bordeaux, orphaned after the death in deportation of her resistant father, she had abandoned her studies and had become a single mother at a very young age. Despite the praise for her first novel, Claire Etcherelli always kept a certain distance from the literary world, claiming to be “office worker”. His funeral takes place Thursday in Paris.

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