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Georges Simenon

Georges Joseph Christian Simenon (February 13, 1903 - September 4, 1989) was a Belgian writer.

Simenon, who was born in Liège, established himself in Paris in 1922. He travelled widely and stayed in the United States for ten years, from 1945 until 1955. In 1957, he moved to Switzerland.

Simenon was one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century. He was able to write 60 to 80 pages a day. During his lifetime, he published about 450 novels and short stories. He is best known, however, for his 75 novels and 28 short stories featuring Inspector Maigret. The first novel in the series, Pietr-Le-Letton, appeared in 1931; the last one, Maigret et M. Charles, was published in 1972. The Maigret novels were translated in all major languages and several of them were turned into a film (starting with La nuit du carrefour, adapted for the screen by Jean Renoir as early as 1932).

During his "American" period, Simenon reached the heighth of his creative powers, and several novels of those years were inspired by the context in which they were written (Trois chambres à Manhattan (1946), Maigret à New York (1947), Maigret se fâche (1947)).

Simenon also wrote a large number of "psychological novels", such as La neige était sale (1948) or Le fils (1957), as well as several autobiographical works, in particular Je me souviens (1945), Pedigree (1948), Mémoires intimes (1981).

Georges Simenon died of a brain tumour in Lausanne, aged 86.

Simenon in numbers

  • Number of novels and short stories: about 450
  • Maigret episodes: 103 (75 novels and 28 short stories)
  • Psychological novels: over 110
  • Translations into 55 languages
  • Published in 44 countries
  • 1.4bn books sold (1935-1997)
  • Films based on his works: about 50

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