French President JACQUES CHIRAC has paid an emotional tribute to novelist FRANCOISE SAGAN who died yesterday (26SEP04) of heart and lung failure, aged 69.

The BONJOUR TRISTESSE writer had been ill for several years and was admitted to hospital last week (begs20SEP04) in the north-western town of Honfleur, Normandy, but passed away with a close friend and her son by her side.

Sagan produced more than 40 novels and plays, including THE PAINTED LADY, INCIDENTAL MUSIC and A CERTAIN SMILE and was famous for her controversial literature and wild lifestyle, which included a number of convictions for tax fraud, drug abuse, gambling and speeding.

Chirac said in a statement issued by his office, "With her passing, France loses one of its most brilliant and sensitive authors. With finesse, emotion and subtlety, Francoise Sagan explored the spirit and passions of the human heart."

27/09/2004 02:59