Georges Joseph Christian Simenon was a Belgian writer born on February 13th, 1903 and who died on September 4th, 1989.
Simenon was one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century, writing up to 80 pages per day. He wrote nearly 200 novels,
over 150 novellas, several autobiographical works, numerous articles, and scores of pulp novels written under more than two dozen pseudonyms. Altogether, about 550 million copies of his works have been printed and he is, according to the UNESCO's Index Translationum,
the seventeenth-most-often-translated author and the most-translated Belgian author.
He is best known for his 75 novels and 28 short stories featuring Commissaire Maigret. The first novel in the series, Pietr-le-Letton, was published
in book form in 1931, while the last one, Maigret et M. Charles, appeared in 1972.
The Maigret novels were translated into all major languages and several of them were turned into films and radio plays. Two television series have been
made in Great Britain, one in Italy and two in France starring Jean Richard (1967-1990) and Bruno Cremer (1991–2005).
While he was in America (1945-1955), Simenon reached the height of his creative powers, and several novels of those years were
inspired by the context in which they were written: Trois chambres à Manhattan (1946), Maigret à New York (1947), Maigret se fâche (1947).
Simenon also wrote a large number of "psychological novels" (what
the French refer to as "romans durs"), such as The Strangers in the House (1940), La neige était sale (1948), or Le fils (1957), as well as several autobiographical works, in particular Je me souviens (1945),
Pedigree (1948) and Mémoires intimes (1981).
In 1966, Simenon was given the MWA's highest honor, the Grand Master Award.
In 2003, the collection La Pléiade (inspiration for the Library
of America) has included 21 of Simenon's novels, in 2 volumes.