She is the visage of 1960s français pop. At 74, Françoise continuous is likewise a saint icon, and her (almost) tell-all autobiography has lastly been published in English along with auto release du a new album.

Vous lisez ce: L âge de françoise hardy

Some evenings in auto Parc du Bagatelle in thé heart of the Bois aux Boulogne, a tall, elegant, white-haired woman with an androgynous silhouette who peut être look vaguely acquainted can be seen quietly contemplating auto trees through their longue branches, dense foliage, and thick, elephant-hide trunks. She is an extremely likely à be Françoise Hardy, a French national treasure and nearby resident, nous one of elle regular walks – a favorite way, elle says, venir forget around problems and anxieties.

Françoise Hardy’s autobiography, The Despair du Monkeys et Other Trifles, was published in English pour the life time last May. Auto book came out in la france in 2008, marqué the intervening year caused her anxiety in spades. Elle learned in 2004 that elle had lymphatic cancer, and in 2016 elle was inserted in a coma indigenous which cette seemed unlikely elle would ever wake up. But she recovered, et has seulement released what one might call a celebratory nouveau album, Personne d’autre (Nobody Else), in the United States.

Born in 1944 in parisien to année unmarried mère whom she adored et protected tous her life, she calls elle childhood me “the sad incarnation of order and discipline,” lot to the frequent exasperation of elle mother, that was neither. Marqué the formulation applies at the very least in aller to auto rest of her life. Françoise Hardy, an icon de the Sixties, was in many respects the very opposite du the restless, disordered, tumultuous lâge in which she flourished.


She to be 17 when she began her singing career. Her rise native timid, efforts girl in année agony of shyness auditioning parce que le a record étiqueter to a étoiles with her sapin hit, “Tous les garçons et esquive filles,” defined thé term “meteoric.” In sa impressionable late teens elle was plunged right into a world ns sex, drugs, et alcohol; cible she disapproved du sex without love (“sexual situation without amour reduces the différent person to auto status of année object”), steered clear du drugs, et was and remains a center drinker who seul recalls being drunk nous one jaune two occasions.

In elle memoir, she tells année amusing story du being asked par Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards venir his apartment in London. A gros fan ns the band, Françoise confirmed up at the appointed time to find Richards’ girlfriend additionally present. Elle describes an awkward step in which she suspects auto couple’s intentions in inviting her, and departs oui quickly as possible.

In in between quiet moment of elation, such as when she signed elle first and longstanding contract with vogue Records, sapin for elle was a perpetual state du anxiety. Thé shyness et insecurity of her teens never ever really left her. Elle brilliant career to be “a gilded prison.” A harsh doubter of elle own work, she found most of elle performances could oui been better. Once her life lover, a photographer, was on année assignment, she was convinced he would autumn in amour with the woman hey was photographing…

And so cette goes on throughout most du this candid, articulate, marqué mildly exasperating autobiography. Quel makes ce a good read is elle quiet, self-deprecating narrative, which one critic described ont English humor. Marqué no, that cultivated french pessimism. Elle has a strong will et strong opinions, strong held, including conditions météorologiques the Iraq War, abortion, and the consequences of overpopulation. In another departure from auto temper du the 1960s elle sat out thé upheaval of peut être ’68 in Corsica, sentiment there par her record société “until calm was restored.”

In elle autobiography, she pronounces nous this historic moment in français 20th-century history: “I oui always felt année instinctive distrust du student movements, wherein often we find agitators ns the too much left exist… peut faire ’68 simply brought into the light a collective evolution whose process, triggered long before, was reaching maturity.” auto same year, at age 24, she rose to auto top of French and British pop graphique with “It Hurts to Say Goodbye” (“Comment te parlant adieu”), written passant par Serge Gainsbourg.

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Her first boyfriend, the français photographer Jean-Marie Périer, shot her for fashion magazines. Williams Klein and Richard Avedon additionally photographed her parce que le Vogue and multiple différent publications. Her affronter appeared nous Paris Match so regularly that she became the french cover girl du the 1960s. Françoise Hardy newly told thé New York Times she was well mindful that the étranger press at auto time was an ext interested in auto way she dressed than in her songs. André Courrèges, and Paco Rabanne to be among thé couturiers that dressed her. Cible she constantly had a preference pour Yves heilig Laurent’s “Le Smoking” suit.

Though elle did no hang the end with thé bohemians et intellectual crowd ns the Left Bank, she became associated with auto romantic existentialism du the time. In 1966, Jean-Luc Godard cast sa in a cameo in Masculin Féminin, a defining french New wave film. Oui her call grew, elle drew the type of Mick Jagger, that described elle in an interview oui his right woman, et Bob Dylan, who contained a beat poem to elle on the sleeve of his fourth album, 1964’s Another Side of Bob Dylan – “for Françoise Hardy/at thé Seine’s edge/a large shadow/of Notre-Dame/seeks t’grab ma foot/ sorbonne students/whirl by on slim bicycles…”

In 1981, she married singer, songwriter, and actor Jacques Dutronc after a long period in which, typically, they circled each est différent warily like deux sumo wrestlers (except lot thinner, de course), each unable to make thé decisive move. In Europe, they were a superstar couple, et the marriage developed a son, Thomas, self a singer-songwriter. In marriage, Dutronc remained auto clownish playboy beloved par the français and, du course, a source of fresh anxiety pour his wife, that writes about sa anguish at his affair with thé German actrice Romy Schneider, through whom hey was do a movie.


Françoise durable channeled this certain inner torment into auto songs and album she composed et performed with such exquisite style et success – indigenous “L’amour cette va” in auto 1960s, à La Question, a an ext mature album of sa later year in 1971, to Clair-Obscur in 2000. Yet even at the height of elle fame elle remained a starry-eyed la poêle of other favori performers. When shopping in London, she ran right into Mick Jagger. Thé two exchanged greetings et went their different ways. Cible she felt choose someone who had actually “had a heavenly vision and wonders si they could ever get over it.” rencontrer with the Everly Brothers, auto singing idols of her girlhood, was auto high mission of a visit to nouveau York. To sing in French, Italian, German, and English, auto shy beauty in turn cast a spell nous many of sa contemporaries. Serge Gainsbourg, Jacques Brel, and – of arttasters – her close friend Johnny Hallyday to be admiring fellow inmates of sa gilded cage.

Françoise Hardy’s memoir takes nous a very somber ton when elle writes, à la example, about elle beloved mother’s euthanasia, and the schizophrenia ns a sister whom she could never amour – venir say nothing of the murder of her father passant par a younger masculine lover. Today, miraculously recovered and amicably divorce from her husband, elle lives in a two-bedroom apartment in the 16th arrondissement, listening à classical music, writing, and reading thé works of favori writers who oui become friends, such oui controversial novelist michel Houellebecq. Et walking in thé park, de course.

Article published in the July 2018 sortir of France-Amérique. Subscribe to the magazine.

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The Despair ns Monkeys et Other Trifles de Françoise Hardy, interpreted from French by Jon E. Graham, Feral House, 2018. 311 pages, 24.95 dollars.