Thursday, 7 June 2018

Lost Profile by Francoise Sagan

Lost Profile by Francoise Sagan
First published in France in France as Un Profil Perdu by Flammarion in 1974. English language translation by Joanna Kilmartin published by Andre Deutsch in 1976.

My first Classics Club Challenge read.

How I got this book:
Bought at a Hope Association book sale.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As Erotic And Sophisticated As Ever, Sagan's Latest Novel Again Maps Out The Complexities And Ironies In The Relationships Between Men And Women.

I was distinctly underwhelmed by Sagan's first novella, Bonjour Tristesse, so went into Lost Profile somewhat warily. However I am happy to say that I thought this one much more to my taste! Young wife Josee who is feeling overwhelmingly stifled by her jealous and possessive husband, Alan, decodes to strike out on her own In a happy coincidence, she meets wealthy tycoon Julius who helps her to find not only a good job, but also a fashionable apartment that is remarkably cheap. Lost Profile's scenario reminded me of the setup in Yuko Tsushima's Territory Of Light although the short French story doesn't have the depth of its Japanese counterpart. Both 1970s stories see their female protagonist unexpectedly alone in a major city, exploring how they cope and grow from the experience.

Josee hasn't ever been on her own before and is almost unbelievably naive - by today's standards at least. It doesn't occur to her until way too late that the happy coincidences of new job, new apartment and new friendship might be motivated by ulterior motives on Julius' part. Even regularly being encouraged to visit a couturier to 'borrow' designer clothing for evening soirees doesn't ring alarm bells! Sagan beautifully portrays Josee's bewilderment at suddenly being responsible for herself though and her naivete is completely believable - even while I was feeling exasperated at not being able to physically shake her!

Lost Profile is only short so, as I have already mentioned, it doesn't have great depth, but I think this actually works well because Sagan keeps up a good pace throughout. The characters are very real, albeit flawed, and I could empathise with them all even while I rarely agreed with any of their actions. I am glad I picked up Lost Profile as I enjoyed this novella and now have a far more favourable opinion of Sagan's writing.

Etsy Find!
by Le Style Sans Moi in
Paris, France

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Books by Francoise Sagan / Novellas / Books from France

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