Stephen Clarke (writer)

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Stephen Clarke
Born (1958-10-15) 15 October 1958 (age 65)
St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England
OccupationWriter; author
GenreNovels, non-fiction

Stephen Clarke (born 15 October 1958) is a British author.[1] He writes mainly about France.[2] He published six novels featuring a British protagonist named Paul West.[3][4][5][6]


Before writing books, Clarke wrote comedy sketches for BBC Radio 4[7] and comic-book stories for the U.S. cartoonist and comics artist Gilbert Shelton. Having graduated from Oxford University he spent several years working in Glasgow as a bilingual lexicographer for the dictionary firm HarperCollins. He then moved to work for a French press group.


On 1 April 2004 Clarke successfully self-published A Year in the Merde[8] It found attention in France too.[9] Later Clarke sold the rights to Transworld in the UK, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC in the United States, Penguin in Canada and Random House in Australia. It was eventually published in altogether about 20 languages.[10][11]

The sequel Merde Actually appeared in 2005, and was followed by a non-fiction book (Talk to the Snail, a humorous guide to the French language and the French) in 2006. The third novel about Paul West was published in July 2007 in Great Britain and one year later in the USA: Merde Happens,[12] This time Englishman Paul West explores the United States instead of France. Clarke's fourth novel Dial M for Merde played again in France (this time South of France) and was published in the UK on 10 September 2008. The fifth novel The Merde Factor about Paul West returning to Paris was published on 13 September 2012.

Stephen Clarke's second non-fiction offering, 1000 Years of Annoying the French,[13] was published in the United Kingdom on 18 March 2010. It concentrates on conflicts between the French and the Anglo-Saxons over the past ten centuries,[14] In's bestseller lists, at one point the book was simultaneously at number 4 in the history chart and number one in humour.



The 'Merde' Series


  • A Brief History of the Future (2011) What if teleportation was really possible? Englishman Richie Fisher is about to find out...



  1. ^ "Stephen Clarke". Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  2. ^ "J'adore vivre en France, parce que, ici, on travaille pour vivre, et pas le contraire". Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  3. ^ "Inspired partly by the culture shock on his arrival in Paris in September 2002". Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  4. ^ "What I love... about the French". Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  5. ^ "... décrit le pays sans complaisance, par les yeux d'un Britannique qui débarque sur l'étrange planète France et cherche à y survivre". Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  6. ^ "As long as you can speak some French, the Parisians think you're a cross between David Beckham and Hugh Grant". Retrieved 11 April 2011.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Stephen Clarke is a British journalist who has written comedy sketches for the BBC". Archived from the original on 12 April 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  8. ^ "A Year in the Merde, originally became a word-of-mouth hit in Paris in 2004". Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  9. ^ "L'intrigue n'est finalement que secondaire car ce qui ressort particulièrement du livre, c'est l'humour typiquement anglais de l'auteur". Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  10. ^ "I concentrate mostly on fish out of water stories, because that's what I am". Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  11. ^ "Surviving as an international creative person". Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  12. ^ "Merde happens". Archived from the original on 14 March 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  13. ^ "Stephen Clarke, author of the bestselling 1000 Years of Annoying the French". Archived from the original on 4 July 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  14. ^ "Which clichés about the British and the French need to be eradicted?". Retrieved 11 April 2011.

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