Josette Clotis was born in Montpellier, France. She loved literature and wrote her first novel at age 18. She moved to Paris and went to work as a journalist for Marianne, a literary weekly owned by Gaston Gallimard, a founder of La Nouvelle Revue Française and his own eponymous publishing house. Gallimard published her novel Le Temps vert in 1932 and signed her to a contract for ten more novels, making her a literary celebrity. In 1933, at the Gallimard offices, she met the married André Malraux, and they become lovers. They had two sons together, Gauthier and Vincent. Josette traveled with him in the USA and Canada to raise money for the Spanish Republic, before Malraux joined the French Army in World War II. In 1942, the couple settled together in the château of Saint-Chamant in Corrèze, central France. In November 1944, Josette accompanied her mother to the train station at Saint-Chamant. There she had an accident on the platform and was fatally struck by a train. She died a few days later, at age 34. Le Coeur battant (The Heart Pounding, 1976), by her friend Suzanne Chantal, describes the short life and love affair of Josette Clotis with André Malraux. Her correspondence with another friend, novelist Jeanne Sandelion, has also been published.