Yvonne Baby


August 15, 2022

Yvonne Baby, born August 18, 1931 in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage and died August 3, 2022 in Paris, was a French journalist, critic and novelist, winner of the Interallié prize in 1967.


Born in August 1931, Yvonne Baby is the daughter of historian and political activist Jean Baby and Ruta Assia (Ruta Sadoul) and the daughter-in-law of Georges Sadoul, writer and film historian. A journalist, she joined the teams of Le Monde in 1957. In 1959, she conducted an interview with Alfred Hitchcock for her newspaper. In particular, she asks him to define suspense, as well as the difference between a femme fatale and a shy woman. In 1962, she was commissioned to write the article on the death of Marilyn Monroe. In 1965, still a film critic, she exhausted The Metamorphosis of Woodlice, which she described as a mediocre film. In 1971, she was chosen by Jacques Fauvet to create and direct the cultural department of the newspaper Le Monde. As the first female department head within the daily newspaper, she managed to unite a team made up of strong personalities (including Olivier Merlin, Jean de Baroncelli, Michel Cournot, André Fermigier, Bertrand Poirot-Delpech and Colette Godard) and made up of merging of the service devoted to the arts with that devoted to entertainment. She recruits new feathers, like Claire Devarrieux and Hervé Guibert. She is also a novelist who in 1967, at the age of 36, won the Interallié prize for her first published work, Oui, l'espoir. In 1975, when the French press was wondering about the mysterious Émile Ajar, Yvonne Baby went to interview Paul Pavlowitch in Copenhagen, whom Romain Gary had asked to endorse the identity. She was vice-president of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1983. André Fontaine, who became director of Le Monde in 1985, criticized him for his elitism. In 1986, he was forced to leave both his function as department head and the newspaper. Several members of his team, in particular Claire Devarrieux and Hervé Guibert, resigned following this decision by the management of Le Monde. She then devoted herself to writing.


1967: Yes, Hope, Grasset – Interallié Prize 1974: Day and Night, Grasset 1980: Kilroy, Mercury of France 1992: Life found, Olivier editions 1998: My mother and the sky very quickly, Olivier editions 2003: Paradise Grey, Gallimard 2004: The Woman on the Wall, Gallimard 2008: Fifteen Splendid Men, Gallimard 2010: The Third Heaven, Léo Scheer editions 2014: In midnight blue ink, Baker Street editions 2016: Nirvanah, Maurice Nadeau editions

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