Georges Arnaud

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Georges Arnaud
Born Henri Girald
(1917-07-16)16 July 1917
Montpellier, France
Died 4 March 1987(1987-03-04) (aged 69)
Barcelona, Spain
Occupation writer
Nationality French

Henri Girard (1917 - 1987) was a French author who used the pseudonym Georges Arnaud. He was born in France, in Montpellier. He was the author of the novel The Wages of Fear (French: Le salaire de la peur).


Georges Arnaud was a writer, investigative journalist, and political activist all his life.

After obtaining the baccalauréat, he studied letters, then went to Paris; He obtained his law degree in 1938.

During the night of 24 to 25 October 1941, Henri's father (deputy archivist at the Vichy Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a heavy responsibility...), his aunt and a servant were murdered in the family castle. Henri Girard, the only survivor, gives the alarm in the morning to the keepers of the domain. Faced with the mysterious circumstances of the drama, he was arrested, charged and imprisoned. He spent nineteen months in prison (famished and freezing, because of the war context). His trial began on 27 May 1943 ; after deliberation, the jury acquitted him on June 2.

Thereafter, Georges Arnaud resided in Paris from 1943 to 1947, where he married a young singer, Suzanne Graux, for whom he wrote songs and with whom he would have two sons. Some of his songs were performed by Edith Piaf, (ex: Les Hiboux, from Les Apaches lyrics).

Disgusted by the power of fascination with money, he quickly spends the family inheritance, showing himself prodigal, of course, but also of an exceptional generosity. In debt, desirous of being forgotten (especially of his creditors), he embarked for South America on 2 May 1947.

Back in France in 1950, he published his first novel The Wage of Fear, inspired by his journey. Then came new works from his experiences: The Journey of the Wicked Thief and Schtibilem 41 (on his stay in prison). Georges Arnaud also produces reports for various newspapers. In 1952, the filmmaker Henri-Georges Clouzot make movie with the adaptation of the Salaire de la peur with Yves Montand and Charles Vanel.

In 1953, Henri Girard met his new companion, Rolande, of whom he had two daughters and whom he married in 1966. Also in 1953, his play Avowales the sweetest is a scandal. Édouard Molinaro will produce in 1970 an adaptation for the screen. In 1962, Georges Arnaud moved to Algeria with his family. He contributes to the creation of a school of journalism and the launching of the newspaper Revolution Africaine. He finally left Algeria in 1974.

From 1975 to 1981, he made reportages noted for French television, (for example one documentary about the Joachim Peiper's affair ; or about Sun_Myung_Moon's Sect). In 1984, Georges Arnaud settled with his wife in Barcelona where he will finish his days, victim of a heart attack on March 4, 1987.


Two sons : Dominique (1946) et Henri (1947) ; two daughters : Catherine (1962) and Laurence (1964).


  • Le salaire de la peur, Julliard, 1950.
  • Le voyage du mauvais larron, Julliard, 1951 ; Le Pré aux Clercs, 1987
  • Lumière de soufre, Julliard, 1952.
  • Indiens des hauts plateaux, revue 9 , n°8, décembre 1952.
  • Prisons 53, Julliard 1953.
  • Schtibilem 1941, Julliard, 1953.
  • Les Oreilles sur le dos, Editions du Scorpion, 1953 ; Julliard, 1974
  • Les Aveux les plus doux, Julliard, 1954.
  • Les Aveux les plus doux (scénario), Editions des Lettres françaises, 1954.
  • Indiens pas morts, Delpire Editeur, 1956.
  • Pour Djamila Bouhired, Editions de Minuit, 1957.
  • Maréchal P..., Editeurs Français Réunis, 1958.
  • La plus grande Pente, Julliard, 1961.
  • Mon procès, Editions de Minuit, 1961.
  • Préface within The Murder of Roger Ackroyd of Agatha Christie, Le Livre de Poche, 1961.
  • L'affaire Peiper : plus qu'un fait divers, Atelier Marcel Jullian, 1978.
  • Chroniques du crime et de l'innocence, Jean-Claude Lattès, 1982.
  • Juste avant l'aube, in collaboration with Jean Anglade, Presses de la Cité, 1990.

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