Jolán Földes graduated in Budapest (1921), and went to Paris where she worked as a workerwoman and clerk. Her first novel, Mária jól érett (1932) was a literary success in Hungary and awarded with Mikszáth Prize.
Her comedy, Majd a Vica (1935), written together with Pál Vajda was presented by the prestigious New Theater.
Her novel A halászó macska utcája tells the difficult life of a family of working class Hungarian emigrants in Paris after World War I. It won the 1936 All-nations Prize Novel Competition of the Pinter Publishing Ltd (London). The title refers to the name of the narrowest street in Paris, Rue du Chat-qui-Pêche (Street of the Fishing Cat). The novel was translated to 12 European languages.
Among her books are Prelude to Love, Shadows on the Mirror and Férjhez megyek (I'm Getting Married, 1935), Ági nem emlékszik semmire (1933), Péter nem veszti el a fejét (1937), Fej vagy írás (1937), Más világrész (1937).
In 1941 Földes emigrated to London and her later works were written in English.
Jolán Földes was a popular author of the interwar era. Her novels are entertaining but she is considered a light-weight author by literary critics. Only the Street of the Fishing Cat is appreciated as an important literary achievement. The novel was republished in Hungary in 1989.