Book Review

Mini Review: The Lady and The Little Fox Fur by Violette Leduc


The 1964 publication of Violette Leduc’s extraordinary memoir La Bâtarde impressed and scandalized the literary world with its explicit account of lesbian love. Its author became an instant celebrity, with 150,000 copies of the book sold in its first year. Her 1967 novella The Lady and the Little Fox Fur deals with a different side of life, focusing on a lonely old woman whose fortune and dignity are gone. Driven to despair, she discovers peace of mind by forming a strange and touching relationship with the everyday objects of the city. Written with the same passion and stunningly observed attention to detail as La Bâtarde, it is a perfectly formed minor masterpiece.

My Review: 4/5 beautiful modern classic stars!

“She returned to her post in front of the pancake shop. The placard with the prices printed on it was still the same: Paris has not forgotten her, Paris was lighting up on every side, the night was tender, the light was soft, the neon signs were flickering on, the sky was candid, and she was rewarded for loving Paris so much.”

Thank you so very much Viking Books UK for sending me this copy of The Lady and The Little Fox Fur by Violette Leduc, which is part of the #PenguinEuropeanWriters series.

What a little gem! The detailed descriptions of the lonely life of an elder lady in the city of Paris have me totally captivated. I can see the lights coming from Eiffel Tower; I can hear the underground rumbling; I can smell the croissant; I can also feel this lady’s desperation for human closeness, for a touch of sympathy. I read this book in one day and even though it feels sad at times, it feels totally endearing and charming at others. This is the first time I heard of Violette Leduc, what a brilliant French writer.

The book has timeless beautiful proses, a true modern classic.

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