Chéri is one of the most honest, sensual, and poignant breakup stories ever written. First published in 1920, it was instantly greeted by Marcel Proust and André Gide as a masterpiece and today remains Colette’s most admired work.
Léa de Lonval is an aging courtesan, a once famous beauty facing the end of her sexual career. She is also facing the end of her most intense love affair, with Fred Peloux—known as Chéri—a playboy half her age. But neither lover under-stands how deeply they are attached, or how much life they will give up by parting ways. A classic portrait of French manners before World War I, Chéri also captures a lasting truth about the connections between sex, love, and feelings of mortality. This new edition includes The Last of Chéri, an epilogue in which Colette depicts Paris reeling in the aftermath of war, at the start of the Roaring Twenties.
Everything that Colette touched became human . . . She was a complete sensualist; but she gave herself up to her senses with such delicacy of perception, with such exquisiteness of physical pain as well as physical ecstasy, that she ennobled sensualism to grandeur.