READ Famous Novelists from France

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List of notable or famous novelists from France, with bios and photos, including the top novelists born in France and even some popular novelists who immigrated to France. If you're trying to find out the names of famous French novelists then this list is the perfect resource for you. These novelists are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known novelist from France is included when available.

The list of famous French novelists, authors, and writers include everyone from Simone de Beauvoir to Jean Genet.

This historic novelists from France list can help answer the questions "Who are some French novelists of note?" and "Who are the most famous novelists from France?" These prominent novelists of France may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected French novelists.

Use this list of renowned French novelists to discover some new novelists that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. 

1
Jean-Paul Sartre is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Jean-Paul Sartre Died at 75 (1905-1980) Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of ...more

2
Marcel Proust is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Marcel Proust Died at 51 (1871-1922) Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental novel À la recherche du temps perdu, published in seven parts ...more

3
Simone de Beauvoir is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Simone de Beauvoir Died at 78 (1908-1986) Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, commonly known as Simone de Beauvoir, was a French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist and social ...more

4
Albert Camus is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Albert Camus Died at 47 (1913-1960) Albert Camus was a French Nobel Prize winning author, journalist, and philosopher. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He wrote in his essay "The ...more

5
Jean-Jacques Rousseau is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Died at 66 (1712-1778) Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern ...more

6
Jules Verne is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Jules Verne Died at 77 (1828-1905) Jules Gabriel Verne was a French novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his adventure novels and his profound influence on the literary genre of science fiction. Verne was born to ...more

7
Victor Hugo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Victor Hugo Died at 83 (1802-1885) Victor Marie Hugo was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. He is considered one of the greatest and best known French writers. In France, Hugo's literary fame comes ...more

8
Roger Peyrefitte is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Roger Peyrefitte Died at 93 (1907-2000) Roger Peyrefitte was a French diplomat, writer of bestseller novels and gossipy non-fiction, and a defender of gay rights.

9
Jean Genet is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Jean Genet Died at 76 (1910-1986) Jean Genet was a French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing. His major works include ...more

10
Marguerite Duras is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Marguerite Duras Died at 82 (1914-1996) Marguerite Donnadieu, known as Marguerite Duras, was a French writer and film director.

11
Jean Cocteau is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Jean Cocteau Died at 74 (1889-1963) Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French writer, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. Cocteau is best known for his novel Les Enfants Terribles, and the films Blood ...more

12
Honoré de Balzac is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Honoré de Balzac Died at 51 (1799-1850) Honoré de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a ...more

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13
Samuel Beckett is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Samuel Beckett Died at 83 (1906-1989) Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. His work ...more

14
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Died at 44 (1900-1944) Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, officially Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint Exupéry was a French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneering aviator. He became a laureate ...more

15
Gustave Flaubert is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Gustave Flaubert Died at 59 (1821-1880) Gustave Flaubert was an influential French writer who was perhaps the leading exponent of literary realism of his country. He is known especially for his first published novel, Madame Bovary, ...more

16
Alfred de Musset is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Alfred de Musset Died at 47 (1810-1857) Alfred Louis Charles de Musset-Pathay was a French dramatist, poet, and novelist. Along with his poetry, he is known for writing La Confession d'un enfant du siècle from 1836.

17
Louis Aragon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Louis Aragon Died at 85 (1897-1982) Louis Aragon, was a French poet, novelist and editor, a long-time member of the Communist Party and a member of the Académie Goncourt.

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18
André Gide is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Novelists from France
André Gide Died at 82 (1869-1951) André Paul Guillaume Gide was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1947 "for his comprehensive and artistically significant writings, in which human ...more

19
Guy de Maupassant is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Guy de Maupassant Died at 43 (1850-1893) Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant was a popular French writer, considered one of the fathers of the modern short story and one of the form's finest exponents. Maupassant was a ...more

20
Marquis de Sade is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Marquis de Sade Died at 74 (1740-1814) Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade, was a French aristocrat, revolutionary politician, philosopher and writer, famous for his libertine sexuality. His works include novels, short ...more

21
Frederic Beigbeder is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Frederic Beigbeder age 52 Frédéric Beigbeder is a French writer, literary critic and a TV presenter. He won the Prix Interallié in 2003 for his novel Windows on the World and the Prix Renaudot in ...more

22
Gao Xingjian is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Gao Xingjian age 78 Gao Xingjian is a Chinese émigré novelist, playwright, and critic who in 2000 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature “for an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and ...more

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23
Anatole France is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Anatole France Died at 80 (1844-1924) Anatole France 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, ...more

24
Colette is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Colette Died at 81 (1873-1954) Colette was the surname of the French novelist and performer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. She is best known for her novel Gigi, the basis for the film and Lerner and Loewe stage production of the ...more

25
Cyril Collard is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Cyril Collard Died at 36 (1957-1993) Cyril Collard was a French author, filmmaker, composer, musician and actor. He is known for his unapologetic portrayals of bisexuality and HIV in art, particularly his autobiographical novel and ...more

26
Dominique Fernandez is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Dominique Fernandez age 88 Dominique Fernandez is a French writer of novels, essays and travel books. Much of his writing explores homosexual experience and creativity. In 1982 he won the Prix Goncourt for his novel about ...more

27
Guy Hocquenghem is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Guy Hocquenghem Died at 42 (1946-1988) Guy Hocquenghem was a French writer and queer theorist.

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28
François Mauriac is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Novelists from France
François Mauriac Died at 85 (1885-1970) François Charles Mauriac was a French author, member of the Académie française, and laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was awarded the Grand Cross of the

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Marcel Jouhandeau is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Marcel Jouhandeau Died at 91 (1888-1979) Marcel Jouhandeau was a French writer.

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Éric Rohmer is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Éric Rohmer Died at 90 (1920-2010) Maurice Henri Joseph Schérer or Jean Marie Maurice Schérer, known as Éric Rohmer, was a French film director, film critic, journalist, novelist, screenwriter and teacher. ...more

31
Abel Bonnard is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Abel Bonnard Died at 85 (1883-1968) Abel Bonnard was a French poet, novelist and politician.

32
Romain Gary is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Romain Gary Died at 66 (1914-1980) Romain Gary, born Roman Kacew, and also known by other pen names, like Émile Ajar, was a French diplomat, novelist, film director and World War II aviator of Litvak origin. He is the only ...more

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33
George Sand is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Novelists from France
George Sand Died at 72 (1804-1876) Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin, best known by her pseudonym George Sand, was a French novelist and memoirist. She is equally well known for her much publicized romantic affairs with a number of ...more

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Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen Died at 43 (1880-1923) Baron Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen was a French novelist and poet. His life forms the basis of a fictionalised biography by Roger Peyrefitte. In 1903 a scandal involving school pupils made ...more

35
Maurice Sachs is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Maurice Sachs Died at 39 (1906-1945) Maurice Sachs was a French writer. He was the son of a Jewish family of jewelers.

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Chrétien de Troyes is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Chrétien de Troyes Chrétien de Troyes was a late 12th century French poet and trouvère known for his work on Arthurian subjects, and for originating the character Lancelot. This work represents some ...more

37
Charles Nodier is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Charles Nodier Died at 64 (1780-1844) Jean Charles Emmanuel Nodier, was an influential French author and librarian who introduced a younger generation of Romanticists to the conte fantastique, gothic literature, vampire tales. His ...more

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38
Alphonse Daudet is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Alphonse Daudet Died at 57 (1840-1897) Alphonse Daudet was a French novelist. He was the father of writers Léon Daudet and Lucien Daudet.

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Paul Bourget is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Paul Bourget Died at 83 (1852-1935) Paul Charles Joseph Bourget was a French novelist and critic.

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Kate Chopin is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Kate Chopin Died at 54 (1850-1904) Kate Chopin, born Katherine O'Flaherty, was a U.S. author of short stories and novels. She is now considered by some to have been a forerunner of the feminist authors of the 20th century of ...more

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Georges Perec is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Georges Perec Died at 46 (1936-1982) Georges Perec was a French novelist, filmmaker, documentalist and essayist. He was a member of the Oulipo group.

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Gérard de Villiers is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Gérard de Villiers Died at 84 (1929-2013) Gérard de Villiers was a French writer, journalist and publisher whose SAS series of spy novels have been major bestsellers. According to the New York Times, "His works have been ...more

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Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Alexandre Dumas Died at 68 (1802-1870) Alexandre Dumas, also known as Alexandre Dumas, père, was a French writer. His works have been translated into nearly 100 languages, and he is one of the most widely read French authors. ...more

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André Maurois is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Novelists from France
André Maurois Died at 82 (1885-1967) André Maurois was a French author.

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André Malraux is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Novelists from France
André Malraux Died at 75 (1901-1976) André Malraux DSO was a French novelist, art theorist and Minister for Cultural Affairs. Malraux's novel La Condition Humaine won the Prix Goncourt. He was appointed by President Charles ...more

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W. Somerset Maugham is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Novelists from France
W. Somerset Maugham Died at 91 (1874-1965) William Somerset Maugham CH was a British playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest paid author during the 1930s. ...more

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Viviane Forrester is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Viviane Forrester Died at 88 (1925-2013) Viviane Forrester was a writer, essayist, novelist and literary critic.

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Edmond François Valentin About is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Edmond François Valentin About Died at 57 (1828-1885) Edmond François Valentin About was a French novelist, publicist and journalist.

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Marjane Satrapi is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Marjane Satrapi age 48 Marjane Satrapi is an Iranian-born French graphic novelist, illustrator, film director, and children's book author.

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Françoise Sagan is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Françoise Sagan Died at 69 (1935-2004) Françoise Sagan – real name Françoise Quoirez – was a French playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. Hailed as "a charming little monster" by François Mauriac on ...more