Born in Lyon in 1895, Gabriel Chevallier was educated in various schools before entering Lyon École des Beaux-Arts in 1911. He was called up at the start of World War I and wounded a year later, but returned to the front where he served as an infantryman until the war's end. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre and Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur. Following the war, he undertook several jobs including art teacher, journalist and a commercial traveller before starting to write in 1925. His novel La Peur (Fear) published in 1930 drew upon his own experiences and formed a damning indictment of the war. It was not translated until 2011 (Serpent's Tail, ISBN 1846687268). He was married with one son and died in Cannes in 1969.
Clochemerle was written in 1934 and has been translated into twenty-six languages and sold several million copies. It was dramatised first in a 1947 film by Pierre Chenal and in 1972 by the BBC. He wrote two sequels: Clochemerle Babylon (Clochemerle-Babylone, 1951), and Clochemerle-les-Bains (1963). In the United States, the Clochemerle books were published under the English titles The Scandals of Clochemerle (for Clochemerle in 1937) and The Wicked Village (Clochemerle-Babylone, 1956).
Others translated into English include Sainte Colline (1937), Cherry (Ma Petite Amie Pomme, 1940), The Affairs of Flavie or The Euffe Inheritance (Les Héritiers Euffe, 1945) and Mascarade (1948).
Other books in French include Clarisse Vernon, Propre à Rien, Chemins de Solitude and Le Petit Général.
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