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In between the shadows and the light

“When I think back to my first years, in Bulgaria, I feel as though there never was a child happier at the prospect of discovering the world. And yet, never had the world been plunged into such an abyss. I was born on 15 August 1944.
From the Channel coast to the Black Sea, the whole of Europe was engulfed in flames and blood…”

Escaping the Stalinist dictatorship which had placed its iron grip on Bulgaria, Sylvie, her elder brother Eddy and their parents arrive in Paris in the early hours of 24 December 1952. She is eight years old and does not speak a word of French.

Her father, a musician, finds a job in a tripe shop in Les Halles market. During four years, the family lives in a small hotel room on rue Montmartre.

Exile makes Sylvie a solitary and dreamy child. She sees her future in the theatre. And it is thanks to her brother, a jazz composer, that she by chance makes her first record with Frankie Jordan, “Panne d’essence” [“Out of fuel”]“…” In a few weeks, she is hailed as the “Schoolgirl of twist” in the press, and a new life takes off!

Goddess of the pop generation, she falls in step with the mad pace of the swinging sixties – the Beatles, Elvis Presley, her marriage to Johnny Hallyday, the whirlwind of concerts which follow one after the other and the constant travelling, London, Rome, New York, Moscow, Tokyo, Rio…

For the first time, Sylvie Vartan takes us into her confidence in telling us her life story, the story of the star that she is now, and the less well-known story of the woman behind the star – the birth of David, meeting Tony Scotti, right up to the adoption of the adorable Darina in Sofia, the story of the return to her roots, her journey into pastures new and her rediscovered sense of well-being.


“You will read Sylvie Vartan’s biography as you read a novel. You will discover both a very sensitive, human, well-balanced woman and a determined one.”

“A very touching life story.”
Le Parisien, Aujourd’hui en France

“A great account and a successful book in which you will discover a most sensitive woman, caught in a both irresistible and destructive hurly-burly, facing the ravages of fame and the happiness of being on stage.”

“A heartrending account.”
France Dimanche


Foreign versions

_ - Bulgaria: Sluntse

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