A coming of age novel set in post-war France by an author who "launched the modern genre of the lesbian paperback" (Susan Stryker, author of Queer Pulp).
When eighteen-year-old Cécile is orphaned at the end of World War II, the curious and adventurous Catholic student finds refuge in Paris, and with an older man. A former member of the Resistance with Cécile's parents, Maurice is handsome, a thrilling cultured patron of the arts, and a mentor eager to introduce the budding young author to his intimate circle of friends--Cocteau, Sartre, and Eartha Kitt! As liberating an influence as he is, Maurice also encourages Cécile to shed her inhibitions he sees as bourgeois. Possessing a sensual and passionate temperament, Cécile is eager to begin exploring--by sharing Maurice's mistress, and writing of every life-changing and delightfully scandalous new experience.
Credited with penning the first, candidly lesbian novel--Women's Barracks, in 1950--Tereska Torrès "scandalized mid-century America" (The New York Times). In By Cécile, written in 1963, "Madame Torres has re-imagined a youthful Colette (here called Cécile) in the infinitely seductive post-World War II period in Paris, where she moves like a sleeping princess through the perverse fairy tales of man-made cafe society. [It's] a sharply perceptive novel" (Joan Schenkar, author of The Talented Miss Highsmith).