Shusha Guppy interviews Lesley Blanch (1991) | part 5

Christmas card sent to friends by Lesley Blanch. Hollywood & Paris, 1961

Shusha Guppy interviewed Lesley Blanch at her home in Garavan, before and after a delicious home-cooked lunch consumed in the shade of a fig tree in the garden. September 1988.

Shusha Guppy : It is interesting that your husband was the opposite: he only wrote fiction, and won the Goncourt twice, the second time under a pseudonym. What do you think of his work now?

Lesley Blanch : I don’t read novels. Few last. Romain was not a disciplined writer, but he had wonderful ideas, and sometimes wrote wonderful stories. The one about the strolling players, for example. I thought The Roots of Heaven was fine. It had a momentous theme, like his autobiography, Promise at Dawn, which he wrote in Hollywood and gave me to read in instalments as he went along. Of course he invented a certain amount of that, but basically it was true.

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Shusha Guppy interviews Lesley Blanch (1991) | part 3

lesley blanch romain gary sofia 1946

Shusha Guppy interviewed Lesley Blanch at her home in Garavan, before and after a delicious home-cooked lunch consumed in the shade of a fig tree in the garden. September 1988.

Shusha Guppy : When you left England in 1946 after your marriage, you were en poste in Bulgaria for two years, I think. And later you wrote Under a Lilac Bleeding Star, which is a Bulgarian saying, isn’t it?

Lesley Blanch : Yes. There they say that a compulsive traveller is “born under a lilac bleeding star.” I have travelled all my life, so it fits. Of course that meant leaving my husband often you might say far too often. He had other women of course, all men do. They are so proud of their . . . aptitudes!

SG: What about you? As a very attractive, and they say, sexy woman, you must have had lots of offers on your travels?

LB : Naturally. And I liked having adventures in far away, wild countries. Everywhere I travelled I collected lots of friends, and yes, I did have lovers too.

SG : You went to Bulgaria after the war, when the country was in turmoil. Were you happy there?

Continue reading “Shusha Guppy interviews Lesley Blanch (1991) | part 3”