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About the author
Georges Simenon (1903–1989) was born in Liège, Belgium. He went to work as a reporter at the age of fifteen and in 1923 moved to Paris, where under various pseudonyms he became a highly successful and prolific author of pulp fiction while leading a dazzling social life. In the early 1930s, Simenon emerged as a writer under his own name, gaining renown for his detective stories featuring Inspector Maigret. He also began to write his psychological novels, or romans durs—books in which he displays a sympathetic awareness of the emotional and spiritual pain underlying the routines of daily life. Having written nearly two hundred books under his own name and become the best-selling author in the world, Simenon retired as a novelist in 1973, devoting himself instead to dictating several volumes of memoirs.
Luc Sante is the author of Low Life, Evidence, The Factory of Facts, Kill All Your Darlings, and Folk Photography. He has translated Félix Fénéon’s Novels in Three Lines and written the introduction to George Simenon’s The Man Who Watched Trains Go By (both available as NYRB Classics). He is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and teaches writing and the history of photography at Bard College.
Robert Baldick was a Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, and of the Royal Society of Literature. He wrote a number of histories and biographies, and translated the works of a wide range of French authors. He was a joint editor of Penguin Classics and one of Britain’s leading French scholars until his death in 1972.
In the press
"Pedigree is a very beautiful book, filled with humanism and tenderness, a gruff tone and sharp-edged words. A real discovery." —La Tribune (Paris)
"Simenon was born in 1903 in Liège, Belgium. He tells the story of his childhood—his petit-bourgeois upbringing, his scheming mother, the early death of his gentle and unambitious father, the ravages of the war—in Pedigree, the barely fictionalized memoir that is his masterpiece and quite possibly the greatest single work of Belgian literature." —Luc Sante, New York
"Simenon brings to life in Pedigree the whole sensory world of his childhood in Liège. His words capture the sounds, sights, tastes, smells, and textures of the city…Writing in prose that is pictorial and tactile, Simenon in Pedigree does for Liège what the young Joyce did for Dublin: he evokes the city with such immediacy that we feel we’ve walked in its streets." —Lucille Frackman Becker, Georges Simenon
"Simenon is not only a master of suspense, he knows also how to probe so deeply into the minds of his characters as to reveal with remarkable fidelity the more evasive of human motives."—Cleveland Press