Lucie Elven

Lucie Elven’s novel The Weak Spot is out now.

From The Blog
6 May 2022

The news that François Mitterrand had a ‘long romance’ with the pop singer Dalida, confirmed by her brother this week, didn’t come as a surprise – my hairdresser told me as much several years ago. By 1998, eleven years after her suicide, Dalida had eclipsed her lover: a public poll to identify the most influential French person of the last thirty years had her at number two, second only to Charles de Gaulle. But abroad her allure faded, perhaps because she inspired awful biographical materials. A curse seems to hover over those who try to replicate her on paper or celluloid.

Anne Serre​ was ten when her mother died in 1971. She claims to have no memory of the preceding years. ‘My father sank into a depression,’ she told the White Review in 2020, ‘and my sisters and I … tried with all our might – like all children in this type of situation, I think – to protect him, resuscitate him.’ He took a job as the deputy...

When Eve Babitz​ was growing up in Los Angeles in the 1950s, ‘the only thing in the county art museum that was the least bit alluring to me and my sister was the Egyptian mummy, half unwrapped so you could see its poor ancient teeth. As children, we both decided this would be the way to go, petrified and put in a museum, immortal.’ Babitz thought she’d die at thirty;...

‘Dark, Dantean​, witty’, Alfred Hayes saw himself as personifying ‘a new sort of “young generation”, the lyric poet of the New York working class, of the strike front, the writer of sketches that bite into the memory’. Born in London in 1911 to a Jewish family that emigrated to the US when he was three, Hayes left school in 1929, the year of the Crash....

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