Birth - Death
1869 - 1951
Fiction and autobiographical writer known for his avant-garde and esoteric literary style. Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Helped found the literary magazine 'The New French Review'. His lover was Marc Allegret (despite his marriage), which caused scandal at the time. In his work, he analyzed the impact of colonialism as a result of his travels through Africa. His work reflects a search as to how an individual can become oneself without betraying a set of core values. Often wrote about sexual matters, driven again by his experiences in Africa and the Arab world where the restrictions of Victorian society of the time were more relaxed. His poem 'Les Nourritures terrestres' (1897; Fruits of the Earth) reveal his homosexuality and reflects his personal liberation from the fear of sin and his acceptance of the need to follow his own impulses, though he subsequently married his cousin. In 1896 he was elected mayor of the commune of La Roque and was the youngest mayor in France. Collected works have been published in fifteen volumes (1933-39).