Sophie Fontanel is the best selling French author of L’envie, (desire), a book on her account of more than ten years of celibacy, that just came out in the US under the title: “the Art of Sleeping Alone”.
Sophie tells the provocative story of her decision to stop having sex at the age of twenty seven, a choice that profoundly changed her view of herself and her place in the world, and in doing so, shocked all of her friends and colleagues. Her depiction of celibacy isn’t prudish or dry but lush; she isn’t shy when describing either her previous affairs or her current erotic fantasies, and her frankness keeps the book from straying into polemical territory. The writing is stripped bare, with no extra fat or flair, and this simplicity works.
What she discovers about herself is truly liberating and raises a number of questions about the expectations of the society in which we live. As she experiences being the only non-coupled one at dinner parties, weekend getaways, and summer vacations, she muses inspiringly on what it means to find happiness and fulfillment alone.