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Monique Saint-Hélier


Monique Saint-Hélier was born Berthe Eimann in Chaux-de-Fonds in 1895. After school, she went to the university of Lausanne, where she studied medicine and then literature but left after a semester, because of ill health. She met her future husband, Blaise Briod, there and they converted to Catholicism after their marriage. They went to live in Paris, where he worked for the League of nations. She was again seriously ill and was subsequently confined to a wheel chair for the rest of her life, Her first work was on her friend, the poet Rilke but she went on to write novels and stories, which had considerable success. However, her reputation dwindled till she was rediscovered in the 1980s and her best-known work, Bois-Mort (The Abandoned Wood), was republished by the very wonderful L’âge d’Homme in their wonderful Swiss literature series. She died in 1955, apparently leaving behind a large number of unpublished manuscripts.

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Monique Saint-Hélier (in French)
Monique Saint-Hélier (in French)
Monique Saint-Hélier (in French)


1927 À Rilke pour Noël
1927 Les rois mages
1932 La cage aux rêves
1934 Bois-Mort (The Abandoned Wood)
1936 Le cavalier de paille
1953 Le martin-pêcheur
1954 Quick
1955 L’arrosoir rouge
1985 Lettres à Lucien Schwob
1985 Souvenirs et portraits littéraires: Rilke, Gide, Ghéon, de Reynold
1987 Les joueurs de harpe
1995 1941 Correspondance-1955 (with Jean Paulhan)
1995 La Fiancée de Gargantua: Louise Labé