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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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. at 76 (1910-1986)
Jean Genet was a French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond, but later took to writing. His major works include the novels Querelle ...more
10
Marguerite Duras is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Dec. 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
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
Dec. 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
13
Samuel Beckett is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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.
18
André Gide is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
age 53
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
age 79
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
23
Anatole France is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Novelists from France
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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