Books: Kitten on the Keys

Poet Jean Cocteau gave it as his considered opinion that she was not a little girl but "an 80-year-old dwarf." A critic in Le Figaro said that her lines sparkled "with spontaneous sensations, new tingling images." Elle, France's biggest women's weekly, denounced her as a fake. They were all talking about nine-year-old Minou Drouet, whose poems launched a major cultural rhubarb in Paris (TIME, Nov. 28, 1955). Since then, Minou (a French pet name for "kitten") has fought back. When a critic sniffed that she should go back to her dolls, Minou answered: "Dolls...

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