The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - SU­SAN KUROSAWA

by Aus­tralian aca­demic Jane Gil­mour (Hardie Grant, $45) is as much a guide to the con­tro­ver­sial au­thor’s cher­ished home­land as an eval­u­a­tion of her work and legacy. Gil­mour has lived and stud­ied in Paris and trav­elled ex­ten­sively through France on the trail of Si­donieGabrielle Co­lette, born in 1873 in the bour­geois vil­lage of Saint-Sau­veur, south of the cap­i­tal. This beau­ti­fully pre­sented vol­ume, with more than 100 botan­i­cal-bor­dered pages, con­tains a wealth of photographs from Co­lette’s childhood and later life, with (and be­tween) hus­bands and cross-dress­ing lady lovers. Co­lette died in 1954 and is buried in Pere Lachaise ceme­tery, along­side many a literary no­table; your quest should take you there, but also to Gil­mour’s sug­gested Parisian ho­tels and restau­rants and pro­vin­cial gar­dens and land­marks with Co­lette con­nec­tions. Un­der your wing, tuck The Ripen­ing Seed and Gigi. Bon voy­age. A NEW bi­og­ra­phy of one of my favourite writ­ers? Lock the door and close the cur­tains — I feel a lost weekend com­ing on. But Co­lette’s France: Her Lives, Her Loves

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