Albert Camus (7 November 1913 – 4 January 1960) was a French Algerian author, philosopher, and journalist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. He was a key philosopher of the 20th-century and his most famous work is the novel L'Étranger. In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons within the Revolutionary Union Movement, which was a group opposed to some tendencies of the surrealistic movement of André Breton.
Anatole France (16 April 1844—12 October 1924), born François-Anatole Thibault, was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was born in Paris, and died in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire. He was a successful novelist, with several best-sellers. Ironic and skeptical, he was considered in his day the ideal French man of letters. He was a member of the Académie française, and won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
André Paul Guillaume Gide (22 November 1869 – 19 February 1951) was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars.
Colette was the surname of the French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (28 January 1873 – 3 August 1954). She is best known for her novel Gigi (upon which the stage and film musical comedies by Lerner & Loewe, of the same title, were based).
Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant (5 August 1850 – 6 July 1893) was a popular 19th-century French writer and considered one of the fathers of the modern short story. A protégé of Flaubert, Maupassant's stories are characterized by their economy of style and efficient, effortless dénouement. Many of the stories are set during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s and several describe the futility of war and the innocent civilians who, caught in the conflict, emerge changed.
Gustave Flaubert (December 12, 1821 – May 8, 1880) was a French writer who is counted among the greatest Western novelists. He is known especially for his first published novel, Madame Bovary (1857), and for his scrupulous devotion to his art and style.
Gilbert Cesbron (1913, Paris – 1979) was a French novelist. Born in Paris, Cesbron attended what is now known as Lycée Condorcet. In 1944, he published his first novel, Les innocents de Paris ("The Innocent of Paris"), in Switzerland. He first came into wide public acclaim with the release of Notre prison est un royaume ("Our Prison is a Kingdom") in 1948, and Il est minuit, docteur Schweitzer ("It is midnight, Doctor Schweitzer") in 1950.
Henri Bordeaux (January 25, 1870 in Thonon-les-Bains, Haute-Savoie - March 29, 1963) was a French writer and lawyer. Bordeaux came from a family of lawyers of Savoy. His grandfather was a magistrate and his father served on the Chambery bar. During his early life, he relocated between Savoy and Paris and the tensions between provincial and city life influenced his writings.
Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (5 July 1889 – 11 October 1963) was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, boxing manager, playwright, artist and filmmaker. Along with other Surrealists of his generation Cocteau grappled with the "algebra" of verbal codes old and new, mise en scène language and technologies of modernism to create a paradox: a classical avant-garde.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Geneva, 28 June 1712 – Ermenonville, 2 July 1778) was a major Genevois philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th-century Enlightenment. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution and the development of modern political and educational thought. His novel, ', which he considered his most important work, is a seminal treatise on the education of the whole person for citizenship.
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, existentialism, and Marxism, and his work continues to influence fields such as Marxist philosophy, sociology and literary studies.
Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust (10 July 1871 – 18 November 1922) was a French novelist, critic and essayist best known for his monumental À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time; earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past). It was published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927.
Marie-Henri Beyle (January 23, 1783 – March 23, 1842), better known by his pen name Stendhal, was a 19th-century French writer. Known for his acute analysis of his characters' psychology, he is considered one of the earliest and foremost practitioners of realism in his two novels Le Rouge et le Noir and La Chartreuse de Parme.
Samuel Barclay Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) was an Irish avant-garde writer, dramatist and poet, writing in English and French. Beckett's work offers a bleak outlook on human culture and both formally and philosophically became increasingly minimalist. As a student, assistant, and friend of James Joyce, Beckett is considered one of the last modernists; as an inspiration to many later writers, he is sometimes considered one of the first postmodernists.
Milan Kundera is a Czech and French writer of Czech origin who has lived in exile in France since 1975, where he became a naturalized citizen in 1981. He is best known as the author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, and The Joke. Kundera has written in both Czech and French. He revises the French translations of all his books; these therefore are not considered translations but original works.
Victor-Marie Hugo (26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) was a French poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France. In France, Hugo's literary fame comes first from his poetry but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, ' and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem, and Hugo is sometimes identified as the greatest French poet.
Honoré de Balzac (20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850) was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of almost 100 novels, short stories and plays collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the fall of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1815. Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature.
Émile François Zola (2 April 1840 – 29 September 1902) was an influential French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism, an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism, and a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'Accuse.
Amantine (also "Amandine") Aurore Lucile Dupin, later Baroness Dudevant (1 July 1804 – 8 June 1876), best known by her pseudonym George Sand, was a French novelist. She is considered by some a feminist although she refused to join this movement. She is regarded as the first French female novelist to gain a major reputation.
André Breton (February 19, 1896 – September 28, 1966) was a French writer, poet, and surrealist theorist, and is best known as the principal founder of Surrealism. His writings include the Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism".