Chéri, first published in 1920, is considered Colette’s finest novel. Exquisitely handsome, spoilt and sardonic, Chéri is the only son of a wealthy courtesan, a contemporary of Léa, the magnificent and talented woman who for six years has devoted herself to his amorous education.

When a rich marriage is arranged for Chéri, Léa reluctantly decides their relationship must end. Chéri, despite his apparent detachment, is haunted by memories of Léa; alienated from his wife, his family and his surroundings, he retreats into a fantasy world made up of dreams and the past, a world from which there is only one route of escape.

In her portrait of the fated love affair between a very young man and a middle-aged woman, Colette achieved a peak in her earthy, sensuous and utterly individual art. Chéri caused considerable controversy both in its choice of setting – the fabulous demi-monde of the Parisian courtesans – and in its portrayal of Chéri.

Cheri - In the press

The Jerusalem Post French-language edition reviews our publication of Cheri and the launch which took place...

Our new Hebrew-language edition of Cheri by Colette will be published in Fall 2012. Chéri, first published ...

Cheri - Reviews

“The Jerusalem Post review of the new Hebrew-language publication of Cheri and the launch at the French Embassy Cultural Center”.

For the full review

Myriam Kalfon, Jerusalem Post

“”Cheri” is a controversial novel about a mature woman’s love affair with a much young lover. Controversial too is the heroine’s fear of old age.”

For the full review

Shoham Smith, Haaretz

“Her sensual prose style made her one of the great writers of twentieth-century France.”

The New York Times

“A perfectionist in her every word.”


“I devoured Chéri at a gulp. What a wonderful subject and with what intelligence, mastery and understanding of the least-admitted secrets of the flesh.”

André Gide

“Everything that Colette touched became human… She was a complete sensualist; but she gave herself up to her senses with such delicacy of perception, with such exquisiteness of physical...

The Times