The most comprehensive account of Georges Simenon's life and work in either English or French--from his youth and adolescence in Belgium, through his spirited beginnings as a writer of pulp fiction in the Paris of the 20s, his invention of Maigret in 1930, his turn to ""straight"" fiction in the 30s, and from the 40s on, his prolific output of detective and ""straight"" fiction. His obsession with women and his major friendships (Jean Renoir, Charlie Chaplin, Thornton Wilder, and others) are detailed. Also, critical evaluations of his fiction (including the largely ignored pulp fiction), Simenon's relationship to ""popular"" traditions, literature, detective fiction, ""high"" literature and the critics are offered. The photographs are rare and revealing (e.g., with Josephine Baker, cutting up in a bistro.)
Living in Woodstock, New York, Stanley G. Eskin has taught at Yale, Bennington, Berkeley, and elsewhere and has been a Fulbright lecturer in Mexico and Guatemala. He has a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Columbia.