Georges Perec


Georges Perec, born 1936, decided to be a writer at around the age of eighteen, but had a day job as a librarian in a medical research laboratory for most of his adult life. He made his first impact in 1965 with a barely fictional portrait of his own generation, Things. Shortly after, he joined Oulipo, the experimental "workshop" for mathematics and literature founded by Raymond Queneau and Francois Le Lionnais, of which he became the most ardent and celebrated doyen. He is the author of A Void, a novel written without the letter "e", of the semi-autobiographical W or The Memory of Childhood, and, most famously, of Life A User's Manual, hailed by Italo Calvino as "the last real 'event' in the history of the novel so far". He lived in Paris, and died of lung cancer in 1982. Portrait of a Man, written in 1960, remained unpublished in French until its 2012 publication.

Elise Williams