Her first novel, Bonjour Tristesse (“Hello, Sadness”), was published in 1954, when she was only 18 years old. It caused a overnight sensation and launched her carer as a French novelist, playwright, and screenwriter.
She drove her Jaguar barefoot and spent money like water in the nightclubs of South France. She loved the fast, smart life that she lived to the full.
The novel was made into a film, Bonjour Tristesse, in 1957, directed by Otto Preminger, starring Deborah Kerr, David Niven, and Jean Seberg. It became a very big success in France where it was shot in monochrome for Paris and colour for the Riviera.