Colette's wrote more than 50 novels and numerous short stories. Her themes were of the joys and heartache of love and female sexuality against a male-dominated world. All her works are more or less autobiographical -- which caused quite a stir in some cases. For those in the States, probably one of her most well known works was "Gigi" (1945) which was made into a movie twice -- the first in '48 and the second, as the musical with Maurice Chevalier, in '58.
But that was tame compared to the kind of topics she was willing to take on: male escorts for women, a hint of an incestuous affair with a son in-law, bi-sexuality, and aging courtesans with young lovers. Her 1910 novel "La Vagabonde" dealt with an actress that rejected the man she loved so she could live independently.
In 1912 Colette married Henri de Jouvenel des Ursins, editor of the newspaper Le Matin who had an estate at St. Malo near Cancale but that didn't last and she would divorce and marry many times.
She was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1920 and then a grand officer in 1953. She was so popular that she was given a State funeral when she died on August 3, 1954 -- thousands attended.