Although she was intelligent and did well in her studies, her family sent her to a reformatory school in Marseilles. She escaped to Paris where she satisfied her thirst for literature and art while dabbling in prostitution. In 1953, a bungled hold-up had her sent to Fresnes Prison. Upon escaping (and breaking her ankle in the process) she met Julien Sarrazin, and the two were soon married. The two continued to live lives of crime, spending time in and out of jail and keeping contact through letters.
In prison, Sarrazin wrote her first novels, L'Astragale and La Cavale, which were published after her release in 1964. (The astragale of the title is the French word for the talus bone, which both she and the main character of her novel broke on their escapes from jail.) Their success allowed the married couple to settle in Montpellier where she wrote her third story, La Traversière. The novel also performed well, but Sarrazin died shortly afterwards from complications during a kidney surgery.