She had an early belief in his genius

Jay Street (A Certain Resentment Sometimes Found Mute Expression) ©MAIERMOUL
Jay Street (A Certain Resentment Sometimes Found Mute Expression) ©MAIERMOUL

Knowlson describes Suzanne as attractive in a slightly masculine kind of way (Bair says “rawboned and plain”), a smart but sober dresser, a strong, mature, and independent woman of left-wing opinion whose family came from Troyes.

She had chestnut hair and striking gray eyes. Much of her girlhood had been spent in Tunisia. An accomplished pianist with perfect pitch, she had an interest in literature and the theater. She had published a pedagogic work, Musique Jeux (Paris: Henri Lemoyne, 1935; See “F—” ). She was a first-rate dressmaker, but poor cook, practical, yet with a belief in homeopathy (this later did SB little good), generous and tolerant of SB’s often difficult ways (she had early a total belief in his genius) but inclined to be sharp and dismissive of those she did not like. She understood and shared SB’s need for silence, and helped erect a wall of privacy about them that others found impossible to penetrate. Later when they were financially well-off and in the public eye, many differences manifested themselves, yet she retained that sense of total privacy to protect herself and him. Like SB, she was not spoiled by sudden wealth or fame, but a certain resentment sometimes found mute expression.

Suzanne shared SB’s exile in Rousillon and supported him through those difficult years; if the tension of two people in forced proximity manifests itself in Waiting for Godot, so does the bond of loyalty and necessity that unites them. After the war, her dressmaking skills earned them something to live on. She was indefatigable in circulating his manuscripts, contacting publishers and directors, and promoting his work, but otherwise kept a low profile –

– C.J. Ackerly and S.E. Gontarski, The Grove Companion to Samuel Beckett