Valérie Valère


Valérie Valère

Valérie Valère, born Valérie Samama (1 November 1961 – 17 December 1981), was a renowned French writer who gained recognition for her impactful works. Despite her short life, she made a significant contribution to literature.

Valérie published her debut book, titled “Le Pavillon des enfants fous,” in 1978. The autobiographical work delved into her experiences during her four-month confinement in a psychiatric hospital, where she battled anorexia nervosa. In this book, Valérie shared her tumultuous relationship with her abusive parents, her upbringing in French society, and most importantly, her time within the institutionalized environment. Critics highly praised Valérie Valère’s writing style, which skillfully expressed her profound philosophical insights into the mistreatment and misunderstanding prevalent in society. Renowned scholar Richard A. Mazzara likened her work to the likes of Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Hermann Hesse, André Gide, and Virginia Woolf, highlighting her profound literary prowess.

Valérie Samama was born in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, hailing from a Tunisian heritage. At the age of 13, she experienced a traumatic event within her family, which led to her confinement in a psychiatric hospital due to anorexia nervosa. Two years later, she wrote her book, “Le Pavillon des enfants fous,” which was published in 1978 by Editions Stock. During an appearance on Bernard Pivot’s talk show, “Apostrophes,” on 27 April 1979, Valérie revealed that her manuscript had faced rejection from ten publishers before being accepted by Stock. Her book offered a scathing critique of the coercive, humiliating, and dehumanizing nature of the hospital environment she endured during her four-month stay.

In addition to her studies at the lycée Racine in Paris, Valérie pursued tightrope walking at Annie Fratellini’s school, viewing both the circus and writing as means of escaping reality. After completing her baccalauréat, she enrolled at the Sorbonne to further her education.

Following the success of her debut novel, Valérie Valère secured an apartment where she dedicated herself to writing. In 1979, she published “Malika ou un Jour comme un autre” (“Malika or a Day Like Any Other”), which explored the complex relationship between a brother and sister, ultimately leading to their tragic demise. This work was written from the perspective of the brother. Valérie continued her literary journey with the publication of “Obsession blanche” (“White Obsession”) the following year.

Alongside her writing career, Valérie Valère ventured into the film industry, appearing in two films: “Pierrette” (1977) directed by Guy Jorré and “Équilibres” (1979) directed by Marion Hänsel.

Tragically, Valérie Valère’s life was cut short at the age of 20 when she took her own life on 17 December 1981. In 2001, Isabelle Clerc authored the first biography on Valérie Valère, titled “Un seul regard m’aurait suffi” (“One Look Would Have Been Enough for Me”), published by Perrin. The biography included an unpublished text by Valérie herself, titled “Laisse pleurer la pluie sur tes yeux” (“Let the Rain Weep on Your Eyes”), generously contributed by her historic publisher, Christian de Bartillat.

Valérie Valère’s published works include:

1. “Le Pavillon des enfants fous” (1978)

2. “Malika ou un jour comme tous les autres” (1980)

3. “Obsession blanche” (1981)

Valérie Valère’s literary contributions remain influential and have left an indelible mark on the world of French literature.


Valérie Valère, écrivain géniale décédée à 21 ans (

Valérie Valère – Wikipedia

Valérie Valère – IMDb