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Marguerite Yourcenar
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    (June 8, 1903-December 17, 1987)
    Born in Brussels, Belgium
    Birth name was Marguerite Antoinette Jeanne Marie Ghislaine Cleenewerck de Crayencour
    Novelist, short story writer, essayist and poet
    Wrote 'Alexis' (1929), 'A Coin in Nine Hands' (1934), 'Fires' (1936), 'Oriental Tales' (1938), 'Coup de Grace' (1939), 'Memories of Hadrian' (1951), 'The Abyss' (1968), 'How Many Years: A Memoir' (1977), 'Mishima: A Vision of the Void' (1980) and 'That Mighty Sculptor, Time' (1984)
    She was born into the Belgian nobility.
    She scandalized some readers when she declared that she never regretted growing up without a mother.
    She was a vegetarian.
    Her father paid to print her first two volumes of poetry. (Later, she ordered that they were 'never to be republished.')
    She insisted on being addressed as 'Madame' by even her close friends.
    She said, 'Books are not life, only its ashes.'
    Her mother died of peurperal fever ten days after giving birth to her.
    She was largely self-educated, spending much of her time growing up in the libraries and museums of Paris.
    She translated works by Virginia Woolf, Henry James and James Baldwin into French.
    She was the first woman elected to the French Academy (1980).
    She was openly bisexual.
    She said, 'When you are in love, you're in love--the sex of the beloved does not matter very much. What matters are the feelings, emotions, relationships between people.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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