Sébastien Japrisot

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Sébastien Japrisot
BornJean-Baptiste Rossi
(1931-07-04)4 July 1931
Marseille, France
Died4 March 2003(2003-03-04) (aged 71)
Vichy, France
Pen nameSébastien Japrisot
Robert Huart
Film director
GenreLiterary fiction, thriller


Sébastien Japrisot (4 July 1931 – 4 March 2003) was a French author, screenwriter and film director, born in Marseille. His pseudonym was an anagram of Jean-Baptiste Rossi, his real name. Japrisot has been nicknamed "the Graham Greene of France".

Famous in the Francophony, he is little known in the English-speaking world, though a number of his novels have been translated into English and have been made into films.


Sébastien Japrisot made his mark as an author at seventeen, when his novel Les Mal Partis was published in France and United States. He followed this with outstanding translations of J. D. Salinger's novels. He pursued a successful career in advertising and publicity.

In 1962, he had an intriguing idea for a crime novel. As he did not feel at ease about his entry into this new field, he used an anagram of his own name as his pseudonym. However, the reception to The 10.30 from Marseille left no one in doubt that a great crime writer had made his debut. The book was quickly made into The Sleeping Car Murders, a film by Costa-Gavras starring Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Catherine Allégret, Jacques Perrin, etc.

His second mystery was Trap for Cinderella. This won the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière for 1963. The film starred Dany Carrel, and Madeleine Robinson.

He followed this with The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun, which won him a second major French award – Le Prix d'Honneur 1966. In England it won the Crime Writer's Association Silver Dagger for the best Thriller published in the United Kingdom in 1968 by a foreign writer. It became a film by Anatole Litvak in 1970 with Samantha Eggar and Oliver Reed.

He was also scriptwriter and film director. One Deadly Summer was made into a film starring Isabelle Adjani. A Very Long Engagement was an international bestseller and won the Prix Interallié.

French bibliography[edit]


  • Les Mal Partis – Prix de l'Unanimité 1966 (as J.-B. Rossi, Robert Laffont, 1950)
  • Visages de l'amour et de la haine (as J.-B. Rossi, in Réalités n° 57,1950)
  • L'Odyssexe (illustrated album by Trez, as J.-B. Rossi, Denoël, 1965)
  • L'Été meurtrier – Prix des Deux-Magots 1978, Prix de l'Académie suédoise 1978 ( Denoël, 1977). NB : film adaptation by Jean Becker, with Isabelle Adjani, Alain Souchon...
  • La Passion des femmes (Denoël, 1986)
  • Un long dimanche de fiançailles, Prix Interallié 1991 (Denoël, 1991). NB: film adaptation by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

Crime novels[edit]


Translations in French[edit]

  • Hopalong Cassidy entre en jeu (Hopalong Cassidy With the Trail Herd), novel by Clarence E. Mulford as Robert Huart (Robert Laffont, coll. "Arizona" n° 1, 1951)
  • Hopalong Cassidy et la couvée de l’aigle (Hopalong Cassidy With the Eagle’s Brood), novel by Clarence E. Mulford, as Robert Huart ( Robert Laffont, coll. "Arizona" n° 2, 1951).
  • Hopalong Cassidy trouve un double (Hopalong Cassidy Returns), novel by Clarence E. Mulford, as Robert Huart (Robert Laffont, coll. "Arizona" n° 3, 1951)
  • Hopalong Cassidy : les Hors-la-loi de West Fork (Hopalong Cassidy and the Rustlers of West Fork, 1951), novel by Louis L'Amour, as Robert Huart (Robert Laffont, coll. "Arizona" n° 6, 1951). (NB : the name of the author in the main title is "Tex Burns")
  • Pistes dans la nuit (Trails by Night), novel by Tom J. Hopkins, as Robert Huart (Robert Laffont, coll. "Arizona" n° 7, 1951).
  • Hopalong Cassidy et les Compagnons du ranch 20 (Hopalong Cassidy, Bar 20, Rides Again) novel by Clarence E. Mulford, as Robert Huart (Robert Laffont, coll. "Arizona" n° 8, 1951).
  • Hopalong Cassidy : le Shérif de Twin River (Hopalong Cassidy serves a write), novel by Clarence E. Mulford (Robert Laffont, coll. "Arizona" n° 10, 1952).
  • Hopalong Cassidy : (Meurtres sur) la Piste des sept pins (Hopalong Cassidy and the Trail to Seven Pines, 1951), novel by Louis L'Amour, as Robert Huart (Robert Laffont, coll. "Arizona" n° 11, 1952).
  • La Poursuite blanche (Murder in the Outlands), novel by James Beardsley Hendryx, as Robert Huart (Robert Laffont, coll. "Arizona" n° 12, 1952).
  • Hopalong Cassidy : Panique à Tasotal (Hopalong Cassidy and the Riders of High Rock, 1951), novel by Louis L'Amour as Robert Huart (Éd. Originale Robert Laffont, coll. "Arizona" n° 14, 1952).
  • Hopalong Cassidy : l’Inquiétant tireur (Hopalong Cassidy : Trouble Shooter, 1952), novel by Louis L'Amour, as Robert Huart (Robert Laffont, coll. "Arizona" n° 16, 1953)
  • L'Attrape-Cœurs (The Catcher in the Rye, novel by J. D. Salinger (Robert Laffont, coll. « Pavillons », 1953)
  • Mais... qui a tué Harry ? (The Trouble with Harry), novel by Jack Trevor Story (Robert Laffont, 1956)
  • Nouvelles (Nine Stories), J. D. Salinger (Robert Laffont, coll. « Pavillons », 1961)


  • Écrit par Jean-Baptiste Rossi (Denoël – Éditions Robert Laffont, 1987)
  • Japrisot volume 1 (thriller novels) (Denoël, coll. "Des heures durant", 2003)
  • Japrisot volume 2 (novels) (Denoël, coll. "Des heures durant", 2004)
  • Romans policiers (thriller novels) (Gallimard, coll. "Quarto", 2011)

English translations[edit]

Year of publication in France Original French title English title / translation Publication
1950 Les Mal Partis The False Start
= Awakening
Transl. ?
  1. The False Start. London, Secker and Warburg, 1951, 212 p.
  2. Awakening. New York, Harper [1952], 244 p.
1950 Visages de l'amour et de la haine Faces of Love and Hatred
Transl. ?
  1. New York : New American Library of World Literature, New World Writing n° 73, 1952.
1962 Compartiment tueurs The 10:30 from Marseille
= The Sleeping-car murders
Transl. by Francis Price
  1. The 10:30 from Marseille. Garden City, N.Y. : Published for the Crime Club by Doubleday [1963], 181 p.
  2. The 10:30 from Marseille. London : Souvenir Press, 1964, 181 p.
  3. The Sleeping-car murders. Harmondsworth, Eng. ; New York : Penguin Books, 1978, c1963, 181 p. ISBN 0-14-004992-4
  4. The Sleeping car murders. New York, N.Y. : Plume, [1997], 181 p. ISBN 0-452-27778-7
  5. The 10:30 from Marseille. London : Harvill Press, 1998, 214p. ISBN 1-86046-440-8 (pbk)
1963 Piège pour Cendrillon Trap for Cinderella
Transl. by Helen Weaver
  1. New York : Simon and Schuster, 1964, 171 p.
  2. London : Souvenir Press, 1965, 171 p.
  3. New York : Plume, 1997, 171 p. ISBN 0-452-27779-5
1965 L'Odyssexe
1966 La Dame dans l'auto avec des lunettes et un fusil The Lady in the car with glasses and a gun
Transl. by Helen Weaver
  1. New York : Simon and Schuster, [1967], 240 p.
  2. London : Souvenir Press, 1968, 240 p. ISBN 0-285-50076-7
  3. New York : Penguin Books, 1980, 253 p. ISBN 0-14-005361-1 (pbk.)
  4. New York : Plume, [1997], 224 p. ISBN 0-452-27777-9
  5. London : Harvill, 1998, c1967, 233p. (Panther). ISBN 1-86046-439-4 (pbk)
1968 Adieu l'ami Goodbye, friend
Transl. by Patricia Allen Dreyfus
  1. London : Souvenir Press, 1969, 185 p. ISBN 0-285-50263-8
  2. New York : Simon and Schuster, [1969], 185 p.
  3. London : Corgi, 1971, 126 p. ISBN 0-552-08705-X (pbk)
1977 L'Été meurtrier One Deadly Summer
Transl. by Alan Sheridan
  1. New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, c1980, 279 p. ISBN 0-15-169381-1
  2. Harmondsworth ; New York : Penguin Books, 1981, c1980, 297 p. (Penguin crime fiction). ISBN 0-14-005846-X (pbk.)
  3. New York : Plume, 1997. ISBN 0-452-27780-9
  4. London : Harvill, 2000, c1980, 279 p. ISBN 1-86046-773-3 (pbk.)
1986 La Passion des femmes Women in Evidence
= The Passion Of Women
Transl. by Ros Schwartz
  1. The Passion Of Women. New York : Crown, c1990, 312 p. ISBN 0-517-56940-X
  2. Women in evidence. Harpenden : No Exit, 1995, c1990, 310p. ISBN 1-874061-25-4 (pbk.)
  3. Women in evidence. New York, N.Y. : Plume, [2000], 326 p. ISBN 0-452-28162-8 (pbk.)
1991 Un long dimanche de fiançailles A Very Long Engagement
Transl. by Linda Coverdale
  1. New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1993, 327 p. ISBN 0-374-28335-4
1992 Le Passager de la pluie Rider on the Rain
Transl. by Linda Coverdale
  1. London : Harvill, 1999, 150 p. ISBN 1-86046-542-0 (pbk)


Additionally, in 1992, Daam Autos (The Lady in the Car) premiered in Estonia, which is based on the novel La Dame dans l'auto avec des lunettes et un fusil by Japrisot. It was directed by Peeter Urbla, adapted for screen by Roman Balayan.

Director – Filmography[edit]

  • Juillet en septembre (1988)
  • Les mal partis (as Jean-Baptiste Rossi) – Bad Starters (1976)
  • L'idée fixe (1961)
  • La machine à parler d'amour (as Jean-Baptiste Rossi) (1961)


  • 1963 : Grand Prix de Littérature policière for Piège pour Cendrillon (Denoël, 1963).
  • 1966 : Prix de l'Unanimité for Les Mal Partis
  • 1966 : Prix d'Honneur for La Dame dans l'auto avec des lunettes et un fusil
  • 1968 : Gold Dagger Award for the Best Crime Novel of the Year 1968 (Best Foreign) – The Crime Writer's Association for The Lady in the Car (Souvenir Press)
  • 1978 : Prix des Deux-Magots for L'Été meurtrier (Denoël, 1977)
  • 1981 : The Martin Beck Award – Svenska Deckarakademin (Académie suédoise) – for Vedergällningen (L'Été meurtrier)
  • 1984 : César de la meilleure adaptation cinématographique (Best Original Screenplay) – French Academy of Cinema – for L'Été meurtrier (film de Jean Becker, 1983).
  • 1991 : Prix Interallié for Un long dimanche de fiançailles (Denoël, 1991).
  • 1996 : Adult Great Read (Honorable Mention) – Northern California Independent Booksellers Associated (NCIBA) (USA) for A very long Engagement


External links[edit]