Christiane Rochefort was born into a leftist working class family in Paris. Her father joined the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. She studied medicine, then psychology and ethnography at the Sorbonne but left before earning her degree in order to go to work. She was employed at the Ministry of Information and as a press attaché for the Cannes Film Festival, and worked with Henri Langlois at the Cinematique française in Paris, before publishing her first novel, Le Repos du guerrier (Warrior’s Rest, 1959). The book brought her international fame and success and won the Prix de la Nouvelle Vague. It was made into a 1962 film (English title, "Love on a Pillow") starring Brigitte Bardot. Christiane Rochefort's work featured individuals who felt oppressed and outcast from mainstream society. Some were satires set in modern France and others in utopian or dystopian worlds. She also received several other major literary prizes, including the Prix du Roman Populiste (1961) and the Medici Prize (1988). A passionate and versatile artist, she devoted much of her time to drawing, painting and sculpture, as well as making music. She was a colleague of Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Rostand, and others, in founding the feminist movement Choisir la cause des femmes. In 1978, she published her autobiography, Ma vie revue et corrigée par l'auteur.