Viviane Forrester

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Viviane Forrester (29 September 1925, in Paris – 30 April 2013) was an essayist, novelist, journalist and literary critic.


Born Viviane Dreyfus in a French Jewish family, after wartime exile she married New Zealand painter John Forrester with whom she had two sons; they separated after some years, but never divorced,[1] she worked for Le Monde, Le Nouvel Observateur and Quinzaine littéraire and was a member of the jury of the Prix Femina. She became famous internationally with her books on Virginia Woolf (Prix Goncourt 2009)[2] and on politics. In L'horreur économique and Une étrange dictature she criticized the globalisation of capitalism; these international bestsellers in particular attacked the free market dogma, and the resulting alienation and misfortunes for the unemployed.

She was also a founding member of ATTAC.[3]

Viviane Forrester died Tuesday 30 April 2013.


She won the Prix Goncourt de la Biographie in 2009 for her biography of Virginia Woolf,[4] she also won the Prix Femina de l'essai in 1983 for her biography of Van Gogh and the Prix Médicis de l'essai in 1996 for "L'horreur économique". She became a member of the Jury of the Prix Femina in 1992.


  • "The NS Essay - Work: the great illusion", The New Statesman, 24 May 1999
  • Ainsi des exilés, Denoël, 1970
  • Le Grand festin, Denoël, 1971
  • Le corps entier de Marigda, Denoël, 1976
  • Vestiges, Seuil, 1978
  • La Violence du calme, Seuil, 1980
  • Van Gogh ou l'enterrement dans les blés, Seuil, 1983, ISBN 978-2-02-006444-6
  • Le Jeu des poignards, Gallimard, 1985
  • L'Oeil de la nuit, Grasset, 1986
  • Mains, Séguier, 1988, 1OO1 nuits, 1998
  • Ce Soir, après la guerre, Lattès, 1992, Fayard, 1997
  • L'horreur économique, Fayard : Centre d'Exportation du Livre Francais, 1996, ISBN 978-2-253-14601-8
  • Une étrange dictature, Fayard, 2000
  • Le Crime occidental, Fayard, 2004
  • Mes Passions de toujours, Fayard, 2006
  • Virginia Woolf, Albin Michel, 2009[5] (English trans., Jody Gladding.) [Columbia University Press,] 2015.
  • Rue de Rivoli, Gallimard, 2011
  • Dans la fureur glaciale, Gallimard, 2011


This is the central point of Viviane Forrester's book: the consequences of the market economy have 'such inattention that the inattention itself is not even noticed'. In other words, a blind eye is being turned to the inequalities created by the capitalist system, she adds that, 'achieving general indifference is more a victory for the system than gaining partial support'. Her contention being that what is more important to the representatives of capital is ensuring that people do not question or care about what is going on, rather than trying to win positive endorsement for the way the system is run from the majority of the population.[6]


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  2. ^
  3. ^ "ATTAC founding members" (in French). Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Alice Ferney (20 August 2009). "Virginia selon Viviane" (in French). Le Figaro. Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  6. ^ Mark Wainwright (February 2000). "The Economic Horror". Socialism Today. Socialist Party (England and Wales) (45). Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2012.