Colette was a French author and woman of letters, known for her novels, including 'Gigi' and the 'Claudine' series. She was also a mime, actress, and journalist, and is considered one of the most important French female writers of the early 20th century.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Claudine

    "Claudine" is a series of four novels that narrate the life of a young woman named Claudine from her adolescence in a small French village, through her experiences at a Parisian boarding school, to her marriage and adult life in Paris. The novels are renowned for their vivid descriptions of the French countryside and the complex, sensual, and independent character of Claudine. They also explore themes of female sexuality, education, and the struggle for personal freedom in a restrictive society.

    The 1040th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Cheri

    "Cheri" is a tale of forbidden love set in the Belle Époque era of Paris. The story revolves around a beautiful, young man named Chéri and his passionate affair with Léa, a woman nearly twice his age. Despite their age difference and societal norms, they share a six-year relationship until Chéri's mother arranges for him to marry a woman his own age. The novel explores the themes of love, aging, and the passage of time, showcasing the complexities of their relationship and the consequences of their separation.

    The 1610th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Earthly Paradise

    "Earthly Paradise" is an evocative autobiographical collection that weaves together memories from the author's rural childhood and her experiences as a creative adult in Parisian society. The work is a rich tapestry of essays, anecdotes, and reflections that explore themes of nature, love, loss, and the passage of time. Through vivid storytelling and lyrical prose, the author reflects on the joys and sorrows of her life, offering insights into her personal philosophy and the artistic spirit that defines her work. The narrative serves as a poignant exploration of the human condition and the pursuit of happiness in a changing world.

    The 3223rd Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. My Mother's House And Sido

    The book is a tender dual portrait that delves into the intimate realm of family life, presenting a vivid depiction of the author's childhood and the complex relationship with her mother. The first part is a nostalgic reflection on the author's familial home, a place imbued with memories and the nurturing presence of her mother. The second part focuses on the author's grandmother, Sido, offering a poignant character study filled with admiration and affection. Through evocative prose, the work captures the essence of a bygone era and the enduring bonds of maternal love, revealing the profound influence these maternal figures had on the author's development as a person and a writer.

    The 3481st Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. The Tendrils of the Vine

    "Tendrils of Vines" is a poignant narrative that explores the life of a young woman navigating her way through the complexities of love, loss, and self-discovery in rural France. The protagonist's journey is beautifully intertwined with the growth and life of the vineyard she inherits, symbolizing her personal growth and resilience. The book paints a vivid picture of the French countryside and the art of winemaking, while delving into themes of femininity, independence, and the indomitable spirit of the human heart.

    The 3641st Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. The Vagabond

    This novel follows the journey of Renée Néré, a 33-year-old divorcee who, after enduring the betrayal and abandonment of her husband, embarks on a path of self-discovery and independence through her work as a music hall dancer. Set in early 20th-century France, the narrative delves into themes of love, freedom, and the quest for personal identity against the backdrop of societal expectations. As Renée grapples with the allure of new love and the prospect of sacrificing her newfound autonomy, the story explores the complexities of the human heart and the courage required to live life on one's own terms. Through her introspective and resilient protagonist, the author offers a poignant examination of the struggles and triumphs of a woman seeking to redefine herself beyond the confines of conventional relationships.

    The 4169th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Green Wheat

    "Green Wheat" is a coming-of-age novella that captures the fleeting and poignant moments of adolescence through the eyes of its young protagonist, Vinca. Set during a summer holiday on the Brittany coast, the story delves into the complexities of first love and the bittersweet transition from childhood to adulthood. As Vinca and her childhood friend, Philippe, navigate the turbulent waters of their emotions and desires, they are confronted with the inevitable changes that time and experience bring to their once innocent relationship. The narrative is imbued with the author's characteristic sensual prose and keen observation of human nature, making it a tender and evocative exploration of youthful yearning and the awakening of sexual awareness.

    The 5542nd Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. The Pure and the Impure

    "The Pure and the Impure" is a collection of vignettes and interviews that explore the spectrum of human sexuality and desire. The author draws from her own experiences and those of her friends and acquaintances, presenting a range of characters and situations that challenge conventional views of morality and propriety. The narrative provides an intimate and candid examination of love, lust, and everything in between, while also commenting on the social constraints and expectations of the time.

    The 5763rd Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. Collected Stories

    "Collected Stories" is an anthology that brings together a diverse array of short stories by a renowned French writer, known for her keen observation of human nature and the intricacies of relationships. The stories are set against the backdrop of early 20th-century France and explore themes of love, sexuality, and femininity, often through the lens of the writer's own life experiences. With a sharp and evocative prose style, the collection delves into the lives of its characters—ranging from young ingenues to aging courtesans—revealing their innermost desires, struggles, and moments of self-discovery. The writer's work is celebrated for its lyrical quality and its pioneering portrayal of independent, complex female characters.

    The 7191st Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. Retreat From Love

    "Retreat From Love" is a sensual and introspective novel that explores the complexities of love and desire through the experiences of its protagonist, a young woman navigating the intricate dynamics of her romantic relationships. Set against the backdrop of the French countryside, the narrative delves into themes of independence, the nature of passion, and the pursuit of personal fulfillment. As the protagonist engages with various lovers, each relationship reveals different facets of her character and the societal expectations placed upon her, ultimately leading to a deeper understanding of her own identity and the meaning of true emotional connection.

    The 7191st Greatest Book of All Time