Art imitates life of Sarkozy's wife in new 'novel'

9th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 8, 2006 (AFP) - A book inspired by the experiences of the wife of Nicolas Sarkozy — France's interior minister who has ambitions to become president next year — went on sale in French book stores Wednesday, nearly three months after an earlier version was withdrawn from publication.

PARIS, Feb 8, 2006 (AFP) - A book inspired by the experiences of the wife of Nicolas Sarkozy — France's interior minister who has ambitions to become president next year — went on sale in French book stores Wednesday, nearly three months after an earlier version was withdrawn from publication.

'Between the Heart and Reason' is fiction, the author, Valerie Domain, stressed in her preface — despite retaining the same title as a biography of Cécilia Sarkozy which Domain tried unsuccessfully to bring out in November last year.

Although the main character of her 'novel' — a politician's wife named Celia Michaut-Cordier — resembles Cécilia Sarkozy, Domain insisted that "any similarity with an existing person is a coincidence."

She described the book as a story about "a woman who leaves a man for another. This powerful man sees her leave him for a third man. From then on, he does everything to win her back."

French readers will be quick to see parallels between the "plot" and the life of Nicolas and Cécilia Sarkozy.

The couple reunited in early January after a seven-month split during which time Cécilia was photographed in New York in the company of a French advertising executive.

During the separation, Nicolas Sarkozy was fierce in cracking down on media accounts of his marital woes, though he admitted he had courted the attention by previously posing with his wife in numerous publications.

In November, when he learnt that a biography of Cécilia — written with the collaboration of his wife — was about to go on sale, he summoned the head of the publishing firm involved to express his displeasure. The biography's distribution was subsequently scrapped.

Domain, who recovered the rights to the biography, made mention of the kafuffle in her new book, saying that "circumstances beyond our control interrupted its publication."

Sarkozy, 50, has worked steadily to position himself as successor to President Jacques Chirac in elections due to take place early next year. Voter surveys show him to be a frontrunner, along with Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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