Chantal Chawaf was born in Paris, during the World War II. During her childhood, she studied art at l’Ecole du Louvre and literature. She travelled and lived for some years in Europe, in the Middle East and North America.
In 1974, she started publishing at the Editions des Femmes, just created in relation to the MLF (french feminist movement) by the leading French feminist Antoinette Fouque. Chawaf’s first text, Retable. la rêverie, started what critics called “Écriture féminine” (along with Hélène Cixous, Catherine Clément, Julia Kristeva..).
In her books, Chawaf explores the themes of mother-daughter relationship, of the couple , the war and the anxiety and attempts to realize the potential of words and writing to free the non verbal inner part of the body from feminity and masculinty. She gives voice to an inner sensorial and direct experience in a new way in litterature.
Chantal Chawaf is the writer of the return to the origin, from which a new langage can be created, key in our times where biosciences turn perspectives around. This path to a renewal of langage was analysed during the years 2000 as an ecocritique (Melusine des detritus).
She has travelled frequently in the United States where her work is translated and studied in universities .
Author of many novels, one play and two essays, she founded a collection at Le Rocher Publishing and ran it from 2000 to 2010.