The Bad Life: A Memoir
Bearer of an illustrious name and nephew of a President of the Republic, Frédéric Mitterrand is born into the discreet gentility of Paris’ haut bourgeois 16th arrondissement. Raised by an army of surrogates, he spends his summers in Evian and North Africa and his winters on Alpine slopes.
But, growing up in a time and environment where such things are not talked about, Frédéric struggles with a difficult secret. Wracked by a fear of abandonment and confused by his sexual urges toward other boys, he reaches out haphazardly for affection — with both comic and catastrophic results.
At age 12, in the first of many capricious attempts to find his true identity, he sneaks into an audition for a major motion picture and gets a part. Thus begins a life steeped in celebrity, French cinema, and clandestine romantic liaisons. In later life, Mitterand, a renowned critic, producer, and talk show host, seeks out old friends, servants, and loves, who reveal startlingly unexpected interpretations of his formative years.
Mitterrand’s memoir is a Godard film come to life — a Nouvelle Vague Oh the Glory of It All. Now Minister of Culture and Communication, Mitterrand reveals his life as a denizen of the psychological underworld and gay icon in haute société.
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