PARIS

AFP

A new biography of Edith Piaf debunks several myths about the doyenne of post-war French music, including claims she was born on the streets, suffered from blindness and helped prisoners during World War II. 

“Piaf, a French Myth”, which hits the bookstands this week, draws on scores of unpublished letters written by Piaf to her confidant, poet Jacques Bourgeat, among other personal papers and correspondence.

 Author Robert Belleret said painstaking research had shown that several falsehoods about the “little sparrow” were perpetuated by her and her entourage.

The aim was to “feed the myth” of Piaf, said Belleret, a former journalist at France’s Le Monde newspaper who has also written an acclaimed biography of French singer Leo Ferre.