Crosland, Margaret. Colette: A Provincial in Paris. New York: British Book Centre, 1954. A very appreciative biography, written while Crosland was much under the spell of Colette’s personality. During her preparation of the book, Crosland often visited Colette and her third husband in their Palais-Royal apartment. She states in the introduction that one of her purposes is to convince others of Colette’s greatness.
Crosland, Margaret. Colette: The Difficulty of Loving. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1973. Critical biography analyzes the subject’s work as well as her life. Janet Flanner, long a commentator on the French scene, contributes an interesting introduction. Supplemented with a chronology and a bibliography of works by and about Colette.
Cummins, Laurel. “Reading in Colette: Domination, Resistance, Autonomy.” Studies in Twentieth Century Literature 20 (Summer, 1996): 451-465. Argues that when Colette’s characters engage in reading, a dynamic of domination and resistance is established; the father’s censoring intervention debilitates, but the mother’s model of reading as dialogue and resistance empowers.
Eisinger, Erica Mendelson, and Mari Ward McCarty, eds. Colette: The Woman, the Writer. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1981. Collection of essays is divided into sections on Colette’s early development as a writer, the relationship between gender and genre in her work, and her exploration of a feminist aesthetic. Contributors draw extensively on feminist scholarship and on studies of the ways female writers use language and relate to their roles as women writers. Includes an informative introduction and an index.
Francis, Claude, and Fernande Gontier. Creating Colette. 2 vols. South Royalton, Vt.: Steerforth Press, 1998-1999. Worthwhile and comprehensive biography of Colette. The first volume chronicles the first forty years of her life and stresses the importance of her African ancestry and maternal family background in understanding her work. The second volume covers the years from 1912 to her death in 1954. Includes bibliographical references and index.
Holmes, Diana. Colette. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991. Notes how Colette’s fiction deals with female sexuality, domestic life, and the problems of working women in a man’s world. Argues that Colette’s stories need to be judged by female critics and asserts that the stories are open-ended and thus innovative for their time.
Huffer, Lynne. Another Colette: The Question of Gendered Writing. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992. Chapters on Colette’s maternal model, her use of fictions and “phallacies,” her handling of sexual performance, and her role as writer. Includes notes and bibliography. Recommended for advanced students only.
Kristeva, Julia. Colette. Translated by Jane Marie Todd. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004. Scholarly critique of Colette’s life and work assumes that readers have some familiarity with the author. Kristeva, a Parisian professor of linguistics, examines Colette’s life from a psychoanalytical perspective, maintaining that Colette’s “writing...