Francoise Hardy shares her iconic life story and memories in her brutally honest account of love, loss, and wisdom in this unusually titled memoir: The Despair of Monkeys and Other Trifles.
Francoise Hardy is best known for originating the famed “Yé-Yé” sound in pop music which began a cultural scene in the early 1960s. Her teenage success first grew when she became a much-photographed fashion model and actress. Adored for her shy beauty and emotional song writing, she sang hit songs in French, Italian, and German. In The Despair of Monkeys and Other Trifles, she bares her soul and tells the truth of her relationships, fears, and triumphs as well as the hard-won wisdom carved from a life well-lived.
“Francoise was the ultimate pin-up of most hip bedroom walls, and I know for a fact that Brian Jones and Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and many other pop stars were desperately interested in having Françoise Hardy become their girlfriend in some way.” – Malcolm McLaren
For the very first time, The Despair of Monkeys and Other Trifles has been translated into English, giving us the opportunity to witness a rare glimpse into the life of the iconic Francoise Hardy.
What makes her memoir so fascinating is her ability to think back and analyse how her upbringing moulded her into the person that she is today.
My mother often told me that I cried every night during my first month of life, but she had never come to comfort me… She boasted that after a month I understood and stopped crying. Today I believe what I understood was this: the more you cry out, the more you are ignored. You must hold your tears back and never ask anything of anyone.
The lack of comfort her mother displayed in Francoise Hardy’s early life causes speculation on whether her single-minded thinking ultimately helped her to achieve success.
Reading on, it was most surprising to find out that Francoise thought of herself as ‘more ugly than average’ at one point in her life – which perhaps outlines her demure and humble disposition – an endearing quality and one that has consequently made her stand out in modelling and in her song performances.
Francoise’s strong opinions and candid approach makes her memoir a powerful and poignant edition. If you’ve ever wondered what makes a worldwide celebrity so successful, or what elements may have contributed to their prosperity, here’s your chance to find out. It’s not a stretch to say that Francoise Hardy exudes an air of mystery about her, and now finally we are able to delve deep into her psyche and discover her most private thoughts.
A truly memorable memoir.