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Guy de Maupassant
Maupassant par Nadar.jpg
Born Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant
(1850-08-05)5 August 1850
Tourville-sur-Arques, French Republic
Died 6 July 1893(1893-07-06) (aged 42)
Passy, Paris, French Republic
Resting place Montparnasse Cemetery
Pen name Guy de Valmont, Joseph Prunier
Occupation Novelist, short story writer, poet
Genre Naturalism, Realism


Guy de Maupassant (5 August 18506 July 1893) was a popular 19th century French writer. He is considered one of the fathers of the modern short story.

He was an apprentice of Flaubert. Maupassant's stories depicted human lives in realistic and often pessimistic terms. Many of his stories are set during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s, describing the civil side of war and the innocent civilians who, caught up in events beyond their control, are permanently changed by their experiences. He wrote 300 short stories, six novels, three travel books, and one volume of verse. His first published story, "Boule de Suif" ("The Dumpling", 1880), is often considered his masterpiece.

Maupassant's stories and writing style influenced many writers including Somerset Maugham and O. Henry. Two of his stories about real or fake jewels ("La parure", "Les bijoux") are imitated with a twist by Maugham ("Mr Know-All", "A String of Beads") and Henry James ("Paste"). As a stylish writer with a huge popular appeal he may be compared to Georges Simenon.

Maupassant also wrote under several pseudonyms such as Joseph Prunier, Guy de Valmont, and Maufrigneuse (which he used from 1881 to 1885).

He is buried in the Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris.

Most famous short stories

  • Ball-of-Fat (1880)
  • Mme. Tellier's Establishment (1881)
  • Mademoiselle Fifi (1882)
  • Vendetta (1883)
  • Mother Savage (1884)
  • Miss Harriet (1884)
  • My Uncle Jules (1884)
  • A Piece of String (1884)
  • The Necklace (1885)
  • A Way to Wealth (1885)
  • The Horla (1887)

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