JEAN GIONO (1895–1970) is ranked among the most distinguished of French writers. He wrote more than thirty novels, as well as many short stories, plays, poems, essays and film scripts. Many of his books have been translated into English.
He was born in the small Provençal town of Manosque where he also lived and died. Giono’s fictional Provence is an almost mythological place of harsh beauty and unforgiving people, a world away from the Pastis, plane trees and boules evoked by his great friend Marcel Pagnol. He served as an infantrymen in the First World War and fought in the Battle of Verdun, during which he was one of eleven survivors from his company.
Imprisoned at the beginning of the Second World War for his pacifist views, he was wrongly imprisoned again for collaboration at the war’s end. The author of the much-acclaimed The Man Who Planted Trees, he has since found new audiences through his environmental call to arms.