Georges Simenon
Georges Joseph Christian Simenon (ʒɔʁʒ simˈnɔ̃; 13 February 1903 – 4 September 1989) was a Belgian
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 writer. A prolific author who published nearly 200 novels and numerous short works, Simenon is best known for the creation of the fictional detective Maigret.

Early life and education

Georges Simenon was born at 26 rue Léopold (now number 24) in Liège
Liège is a major city and municipality of Belgium located in the province of Liège, of which it is the economic capital, in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium....

 to Désiré Simenon and his wife Henriette. Désiré Simenon worked in an accounting office at an insurance company and had married Henriette in April 1902. Although Georges Simenon was born on 13 February 1903 superstition resulted in his birth being registered as having been on the 12th. This story of his birth is recounted at the beginning of his novel Pedigree.

The Simenon family traces its origins back to the Limburg region, his mother's family being from Dutch Limburg
Limburg (Netherlands)
Limburg is the southernmost of the twelve provinces of the Netherlands. It is located in the southeastern part of the country and bordered by the province of Gelderland to the north, Germany to the east, Belgium to the south and part of the west, andthe Dutch province of North Brabant partly to...

. One of her more notorious ancestors was Gabriel Brühl
Gabriel Brühl
Gabriel Brühl was a well-known robber in the then Duchy of Limburg, whose criminal career started in the 1720s and ended with his being hanged in 1743....

, a criminal who preyed on Limburg from the 1720s until he was hanged in 1743. Later, Simenon would use Brühl as one of his many pen names.

In April 1905, two years after Georges Simenon's birth, the family moved to 3 rue Pasteur (now 25 rue Georges Simenon) in Liège's Outremeuse neighborhood. Georges Simenon's brother Christian was born in September 1906 and eventually became their mother's favorite child, much to Georges Simenon's chagrin. Later, in February 1911, the Simenons moved to 53 rue de la Loi, also in the Outremeuse. In this larger home, the Simenons were able to take in lodgers. Typical among them were apprentices and students of various nationalities, giving the young Simenon an important introduction to the wider world; this marked his novels, notably Pedigree and Le Locataire.

At the age of three, Simenon learned to read at the Saint-Julienne nursery school. Then, between 1908 and 1914, he attended the Institut Saint-André. In September 1914, shortly after the beginning of the First World War, he began his studies at the Collège Saint-Louis, a Jesuit
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 high school.

In February 1917, the Simenon family moved to a former post office building in the Amercoeur neighborhood. June 1919 saw another move, this time to the rue de l'Enseignement, back in the Outremeuse neighborhood.

Using his father's heart condition as a pretext, Simenon decided to put an end to his studies in June 1918, not even taking the Collège Saint-Louis' year-end exams. He subsequently worked a number of very short-term odd jobs.

The Mamelins and the Peters

There were two clans in his family: 'the Walloons Mamelins (Simenons), and the Flemish Peters (Brülls) (...) The Mamelins are pure Walloons, attached to their city and the working class Outremeuse district of Liège
Liège is a major city and municipality of Belgium located in the province of Liège, of which it is the economic capital, in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium....

 (...) They are suspicious of everything that moves (...) They represent stability, integration into a neighbourhood and into artisanal bourgeoisie. They do not play important parts in Simenon's oeuvre (...) The Mamelins (...) are very different from the Peters, who are not united as a family and who are often set against one another by self-interest and jealousy. These restless, anguished, maladjusted members of his mother's family, seeking to escape through drink, vagabondage and power, serve as prototypes for the protagonists of Simenon's romans durs.'

Career's beginnings

In January 1919, the sixteen-year-old Simenon took a job at the Gazette de Liège, a newspaper edited by Joseph Demarteau. While Simenon's own beat only covered unimportant human interest stories, it afforded him an opportunity to explore the seamier side of the city, including politics, bars, cheap hotels but also crime, police investigations and lectures on police technique by the criminologist Edmond Locard
Edmond Locard
Dr. Edmond Locard was a pioneer in forensic science who became known as the Sherlock Holmes of France. He formulated the basic principle of forensic science: "Every contact leaves a trace"...

. Simenon's experience at the Gazette also taught him the art of quick editing. Indeed, he wrote more than 150 articles under the pen name "G. Sim."

Simenon's first novel, Au Pont des Arches was written in June 1919 and published in 1921 under his "G. Sim" pseudonym. Writing as "Monsieur Le Coq," he also published more than 800 humorous pieces between November 1919 and December 1922.

During this period, Simenon's familiarity with nightlife only increased: prostitutes, drunkenness and general carousing. The people he rubbed elbows with included anarchists, bohemian artists and even two future murderers, the latter appearing in his novel Les Trois crimes de mes amis. He also frequented a group of artists known as "La Caque." While not really involved in the group, he did meet his future wife Régine Renchon through it.

In France, 1922-1945

Désiré Simenon died in 1922 and this served as the occasion for the author to move to Paris with Régine Renchon (hereafter referred to by her nickname "Tigy"), at first living in the 17th arrondissement
XVIIe arrondissement
The 17th arrondissement of Paris is one of the 20 arrondissements of the capital city of France.-Geography:The land area of this arrondissement is 5.669 km2 The 17th arrondissement of Paris is one of the 20 arrondissements (administrative districts) of the capital city of...

, not far from the Boulevard des Batignolles. He became familiar with the city, its bistrots, cheap hotels, bars and restaurants. More importantly, he also came to know ordinary working-class Parisians. Writing under numerous pseudonyms, his creativity began to pay financial dividends.

Simenon and Tigy returned briefly to Liège in March 1923 to marry. Despite his Catholic upbringing, Simenon was not a believer. Tigy came from a thoroughly non-religious family. However, Simenon's mother insisted on a church wedding, forcing Tigy to become a nominal convert, learning the Catholic Church's
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the official text of the teachings of the Catholic Church. A provisional, "reference text" was issued by Pope John Paul II on October 11, 1992 — "the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council" — with his apostolic...

. Despite their father's lack of religious convictions, all of Simenon's children would be baptized as Catholics. Marriage to Tigy, however, did not prevent Simenon from having liaisons with numerous other women, perhaps most famously, Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker was an American dancer, singer, and actress who found fame in her adopted homeland of France. She was given such nicknames as the "Bronze Venus", the "Black Pearl", and the "Créole Goddess"....


A reporting assignment had Simenon on a lengthy sea voyage in 1928, giving him a taste for boating. In 1929, he decided to have a boat built, the Ostrogoth. Simenon, Tigy, their cook and housekeeper Henriette Liberge, and their dog Olaf lived on board the Ostrogoth, traveling the French canal system. Henriette Liberge, known as "Boule" (literally, "Ball," a reference to her slight pudginess) was romantically involved with Simenon for the next several decades and would remain a close friend of the family, really part of it.

In 1930, the most famous character invented by Simenon, Commissaire Maigret, made his first appearance in a piece in Detective written at Joseph Kessel's
Joseph Kessel
Joseph Kessel was a French journalist and novelist.He was born in Villa Clara, Entre Ríos, Argentina, because of the constant journeys of his father, a Lithuanian doctor of Jewish origin. Joseph Kessel lived the first years of his childhood in Orenburg, Russia, before the family moved to France...


1932 saw Simenon travel extensively, sending back reports from Africa, eastern Europe, Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. A trip around the world followed in 1934 and 1935.

Between 1932 and 1936, Simenon, Tigy, and Boule lived at La Richardière, a 16th century manor house in Marsilly
Marsilly, Charente-Maritime
Marsilly is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France.-Population:-Personalities:Between 1932 and 1936, the well-known writer Georges Simenon and his wife Régine lived at La Richardière, a 16th century manor house in Marsilly. The house is evoked in Simenon's novel Le...

 at the Charente-Maritime
Charente-Maritime is a department on the west coast of France named after the Charente River.- History :Previously a part of Saintonge, Charente-Inférieure was one of the 83 original departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790...

 département. The house is evoked in Simenon's novel Le Testament Donadieu. At the beginning of 1938, he rented the villa Agnès in La Rochelle
La Rochelle
La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department.The city is connected to the Île de Ré by a bridge completed on 19 May 1988...

 and then, in August, purchased a farm house in Nieul-sur-Mer (also in the Charente-Maritime) where his and Tigy's only child, Marc, was born in 1939.

Simenon lived in the Vendée
The Vendée is a department in the Pays-de-la-Loire region in west central France, on the Atlantic Ocean. The name Vendée is taken from the Vendée river which runs through the south-eastern part of the department.-History:...

 during the Second World War. Simenon's conduct during the war is a matter of considerable controversy, with some scholars inclined to view him as having been a collaborator with the Germans
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 while others disagree, viewing Simenon as having been an apolitical man who was essentially an opportunist but by no means a collaborator. Further confusion stems from the fact that he was denounced as a collaborator by local farmers while at the same time the Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

 suspected him of being Jewish, apparently conflating the names "Simenon" and "Simon". In any case, Simenon was under investigation at the end of the war because he had negotiated film rights of his books with German studios during the occupation and in 1950 was sentenced to a five-year period during which he was forbidden to publish any new work. This sentence, however, was kept from the public and had little practical effect.

The war years did see Simenon produce a number of important works, including Le Testament Donadieu, Le Voyageur de la Toussaint and Le Cercle des Mahé. He also conducted important correspondence, most notably with André Gide
André Gide
André Paul Guillaume Gide was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars.Known for his fiction as well as his autobiographical works, Gide...


Also in the early 1940s, Simenon had a health scare when a local doctor misdiagnosed him with a serious heart condition (a reminder of his father), giving him only months to live. It was also at this time that Tigy finally surprised her husband with Boule. He and Tigy remained married until 1949, but it was now a marriage in name only. Despite Tigy's initial protests, Boule remained with the family.

The ambiguities of the war years notwithstanding, the city of La Rochelle eventually honored Simenon, naming a quai after him in 1989. Simenon was too ill to attend the dedication ceremony. However, in 2003, his son Johnny participated in a different event honoring his father.

In the United States and Canada, 1945-1955

Simenon escaped questioning in France and in 1945 arrived, along with Tigy and Marc, in North America. He spent several months in Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, north of Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, at Domaine L'Esterel (Ste-Marguerite du Lac Masson) where he lived in a modern-style house and wrote three novels (one of which was Three Bedrooms in Manhattan) in one of the log cabins (LC5, still there today). Boule, due to visa difficulties, was initially unable to join them.

During the years he spent in the United States, Simenon regularly visited New York City. He and his family also went on lengthy car trips, traveling from Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

 to Florida and then west as far as California. Simenon lived for a short time on Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria, Florida
Anna Maria, is a city in Manatee County, Florida, United States. The population was 1,814 at the 2000 census. According to the 2005 U.S. Census Bureau's estimates, the city grew slightly to 1,867. The city occupies the northern part of Anna Maria Island and is one of three municipalities on the...

 near Bradenton, Florida
Bradenton, Florida
Bradenton is a city in Manatee County, Florida, United States. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's 2007 population to be 53,471. Bradenton is the largest Principal City of the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2007 estimated population of 682,833...

 before renting a house in Nogales, Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

 where Boule was finally reunited with him. His novel The Bottom of the Bottle
The Bottom of the Bottle
The Bottom of the Bottle is a 1956 American drama film based on the novel written by Georges Simenon during his stay in Nogales, Arizona. The novel was adapted for film by Sydney Boehm and directed by Henry Hathaway.-Plot:...

was heavily influenced by his stay in Nogales, Arizona
Nogales, Arizona
Nogales is a city in Santa Cruz County, Arizona, United States. The population was 21,017 at the 2010 census. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 20,833. The city is the county seat of Santa Cruz County....


Although enchanted by the desert, Simenon decided to leave Arizona, and following a stay in California, settled into a large house, Shadow Rock Farm, in Lakeville
Lakeville, Connecticut
Lakeville is a village and census-designated place in the town of Salisbury in Litchfield County, Connecticut, on Lake Wononskopomuc. The village includes Lakeville Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The district represents about of the village center...

, Connecticut. This town forms the background for his 1952 novel La Mort de Belle ("The Death of Belle").

While in the United States, Simenon and his son Marc learned to speak English with relative ease, as did Boule. Tigy, however, had a great deal of trouble with the language and pined for a return to Europe.

In the meantime, Simenon had met Denyse Ouimet, a woman seventeen years his junior. Denyse, who was originally from Montréal, met Simenon in New York City in 1945 (she was to be hired as a secretary) and they promptly began an often stormy and unhappy relationship. After resolving numerous legal difficulties, Simenon and Tigy were divorced in 1949. Simenon and Denyse Ouimet were then married in Reno
Reno is the fourth most populous city in Nevada, US.Reno may also refer to:-Places:Italy*The Reno River, in Northern ItalyCanada*Reno No...

, Nevada in 1950 and eventually had three children, Johnny (born in 1949), Marie-Jo (born in 1953) and Pierre (born in 1959). In accordance with the divorce agreement, Tigy continued to live in close proximity to Simenon and their son Marc, an arrangement that continued until they all returned to Europe in 1955.

In 1952, Simenon paid a visit to Belgium and was made a member of the Académie Royale de Belgique. Although he never resided in Belgium after 1922, he remained a Belgian citizen throughout his life.

Return to Europe, 1955-1989

Simenon and his family returned to Europe in 1955, first living in France (mainly on the Côte d'Azur
French Riviera
The Côte d'Azur, pronounced , often known in English as the French Riviera , is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France, also including the sovereign state of Monaco...

) before settling in Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. After living in a rented house in Echandens
Echandens is a municipality in the district of Morges of the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland.-Geography:Echandens has an area, , of . Of this area, or 52.3% is used for agricultural purposes, while or 18.0% is forested...

, he purchased a property in Epalinges
Epalinges is a municipality in the district of Lausanne in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland.It is a suburb of the city of Lausanne.-Geography:...

, north of Lausanne
Lausanne is a city in Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and is the capital of the canton of Vaud. The seat of the district of Lausanne, the city is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva . It faces the French town of Évian-les-Bains, with the Jura mountains to its north-west...

, where he had an enormous house constructed.

Simenon and Denyse Ouimet separated definitively in 1964. Teresa, who had been hired by Simenon as a housekeeper in 1961, had by this time become romantically involved with him and remained his companion for the rest of his life.

His long-troubled daughter Marie-Jo committed suicide in Paris in 1978 at the age of 25, an event that darkened Simenon's later years.

The documentary film 'The Mirror of Maigret' by Director/Producer John Goldschmidt was filmed at Simenon's villa in Lausanne and was a profile of the man based on his confessional dialogue with a criminal psychologist. The film was made for ATV and shown in the UK on the ITV Network in 1981.

Simenon underwent surgery for a brain tumor in 1984 and made a good recovery. In subsequent years however, his health worsened. He gave his last televised interview in December 1988.

Georges Simenon died in his sleep of natural causes on the night of 3 September or morning of 4 September 1989 in Lausanne.

Simenon left such a legacy that he was honored with a silver commemorative coin: the Belgian 100 Years of Georges Simenon coin, minted in 2003. The obverse side shows his portrait.


Simenon was one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century, capable of writing 60 to 80 pages per day. His oeuvre includes nearly 200 novels, over 150 novellas, several autobiographical
An autobiography is a book about the life of a person, written by that person.-Origin of the term:...

 works, numerous articles, and scores of pulp novels written under more than two dozen pseudonym
A pseudonym is a name that a person assumes for a particular purpose and that differs from his or her original orthonym...

s. Altogether, about 550 million copies of his works have been printed.

He is best known, however, for his 75 novels and 28 short stories featuring Commissaire Maigret
Jules Maigret, Maigret to most people, including his wife, is a fictional police detective, actually a commissaire or commissioner of the Paris "Brigade Criminelle" , created by writer Georges Simenon.Seventy-five novels and twenty-eight short stories about Maigret were published between 1931 and...

. The first novel in the series, Pietr-le-Letton, appeared in 1931; the last one, Maigret et M. Charles, was published 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 (1960-63
Maigret (1960 TV series)
Maigret is a British television series made by the BBC and which ran for 52 episodes from 1960 to 1963.Based on the Maigret stories of Georges Simenon, the series starred Rupert Davies as the Sûreté detective Commissaire Jules Maigret, and featured Ewen Solon as Lucas, Helen Shingler as Madame...

 and 1992-93
Maigret (1992 TV series)
Maigret was a British television series that ran on ITV for twelve episodes between 1992 and 1993. It was an adaptation of the books by Georges Simenon featuring his fictional French detective Jules Maigret...

) have been made in Great Britain, and one in France (1991–2005) staring Bruno Cremer
Bruno Cremer
Bruno Jean Marie Crémer was a French actor born in Saint-Mandé, Val-de-Marne, who spent a part of his career on stage, but who also found success in the cinema and on television.- Biography :...

During his "American" period, 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", 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), Mémoires intimes (1981).

In 1966, Simenon was given the MWA's highest honor, the Grand Master Award.

In 2003, the collection La Pléiade
Bibliothèque de la Pléiade
The Bibliothèque de la Pléiade is a French series of books which was created in the 1930s by Jacques Schiffrin, an independent young editor. . Schiffrin wanted to provide the public with reference editions of the complete works of classic authors in a pocket format...

 (inspiration for the Library of America
Library of America
The Library of America is a nonprofit publisher of classic American literature.- Overview and history :Founded in 1979 with seed money from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ford Foundation, the LoA has published over 200 volumes by a wide range of authors from Mark Twain to Philip...

) has included 21 of Simenon's novels, in 2 volumes. The task of selecting the novels and the preparation of the notes and analyses was performed by two Simenon specialists, Professor Jacques Dubois
Jacques Dubois (Walloon Professor)
Jacques Dubois , Professor emeritus of Literature at the Université de Liège invented the concept of the Literary Institution following the work of Pierre Bourdieu by analogy with other social institutions such as military, medical, political... He is also a Member of the Groupe µ...

, president of the Center for Georges Simenon Studies at the Université de Liège, and his assistant Benoît Denis.

In 2005, he was nominated for the title of De Grootste Belg
De Grootste Belg
De Grootste Belg was a 2005 vote conducted by Belgian public TV broadcaster Canvas, public radio broadcaster Radio 1, and newspaper De Standaard, to determine who is the Greatest Belgian of all time...

 / Le plus grand Belge
Le plus grand Belge
Le plus grand Belge , was a television show on the Belgian French-speaking public channel RTBF. In the program the audience could vote for the greatest Belgian by using the website, sending an SMS or using the telephone...

 ("The Greatest Belgian") in two separate television shows. In the Flemish
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 version, he ended 77th place. In the Walloon version, he ended 10th place.


  • The Crime at Lock 14 (1931) (Penguin Classics UK, ISBN 0-14-118728-X)
  • The Yellow Dog (1931) (Penguin Classics UK, ISBN 0-14-118734-4)
  • The Madman of Bergerac (1932) (Penguin Classics UK, ISBN 0-14-118726-3)
  • The Bar on the Seine (1932) (Penguin Classics UK, ISBN 0-14-102588-3)
  • The Engagement
    Les Fiançailles de M. Hire
    Les Fiançailles de M. Hire is the title of a short novel by Belgian writer Georges Simenon. It is among one of the author's first self-described roman durs or "hard novels" to distinguish it from his romans populaires or "popular novels," which are primarily mysteries that usually feature his...

    (Les Fiançailles de M. Hire, 1933) (New York Review Books Classics, ISBN 1-59017-228-0)
  • Tropic Moon
    Tropic Moon
    Coup de Lune , literally "moonburn" or "moonstroke" in French, but translated into English as Tropic Moon, is the title of a novel by Belgian writer Georges Simenon...

    (Coup de Lune, 1933) (New York Review Books Classics, ISBN 1-59017-111-X)
  • The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By (Homme qui regardait passer les trains, 1938) (New York Review Books Classics, ISBN 1-59017-149-7)
  • Liberty Bar (1940) (tr. Geoffrey Sainsbury) in: Maigret Travels South. vi, 312 pp. [with: The Madman of Bergerac]. George Routledge & Sons. London.
  • The Strangers in the House (Les Inconnus dans la maison, 1940) (New York Review Books Classics, ISBN 1-59017-194-2)
  • The Hotel Majestic (1942) (Penguin Classics UK, ISBN 0-14-118731-X)
  • The Widow
    La Veuve Couderc
    La Veuve Couderc is a Belgian novel by Georges Simenon. It was first published in 1942....

    (La Veuve Couderc, 1942) (New York Review Books Classics, ISBN 978-1-59017-261-2)
  • Inspector Cadaver (1943) (Penguin Classics UK, ISBN 0-14-118725-5)
  • Monsieur Monde Vanishes (La Fuite de Monsieur Monde, 1945) (New York Review Books Classics, ISBN 1-59017-096-2)
  • Three Bedrooms in Manhattan (Trois Chambres à Manhattan, 1945) (New York Review Books Classics, ISBN 1-59017-044-X)
  • Act of Passion (Lettre à mon juge, 1947)
  • Dirty Snow (La Neige était sale, 1948) (New York Review Books Classics, ISBN 1-59017-043-1)
  • Pedigree (1948) (New York Review Books Classics, ISBN 978-1-59017-351-0)
  • My Friend Maigret (1949) (Penguin Classics UK, ISBN 0-14-102586-7)
  • The Friend of Madame Maigret (1950) (Penguin Classics UK, ISBN 0-14-118740-9)
  • Maigret's Memoirs (1951) (English translation 1963, A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book, ISBN 0-15-155148-0)
  • The Man on the Boulevard (1953) (Penguin Classics UK, ISBN 0-14-102590-5)
  • Big Bob (1954)
  • Red Lights (Feux Rouges, 1953) (New York Review Books Classics, ISBN 1-59017-193-4)
  • A Man's Head (1955) (Penguin Classics UK, ISBN 0-14-102589-1)
  • The Rules of the Game (1955)
  • Maigret has Scruples (1958) (Harcourt Inc., ISBN 0-15-655160-8)
  • The Little Man from Archangel (1957) (Penguin Classics UK, ISBN 0-14-118771-9)
  • None of Maigret's Business (1958) (translated by Richard Brain from Maigrets' Amuse, published for the Crime Club by Dougbleday & Company Inc, Garden City, New York, Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 58-7367)
  • The Widower (1959) (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, published 1982, ISBN 0-15-196644-3)
  • Maigret in Court (1960) (Penguin Classics UK, ISBN 0-14-118729-8)
  • Maigret and the Idle Burglar (1961) (Penguin Classics UK, ISBN 0-14-118772-7)
  • Maigret and the Ghost (1964) (Penguin Classics UK, ISBN 0-14-118727-1)
  • Maigret and the Bum (1963) (Harcourt Inc., ISBN 0-15-602839-5)
  • The Cat (1967) (translation 1972, Bernard Frechtman, Hamish Hamilton Great Britain)
  • Maigret's Boyhood Friend (1968) (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., translation Eileen Ellenbogen, 1970)
  • Maigret and Monsieur Charles (1972) (translation 1973, Marianne Alexandre Sinclair, Hamish Hamilton Great Britain)
  • The Disappearance of Odile (1971) (translation 1972, Lyn Moir, Hamish Hamilton Great Britain)
  • The Bottom of the Bottle (1977) (Hamilton, USA ISBN 0241896819 ISBN 9780241896815) *The Bottom of the Bottle was originally published by Signet New York in 1954.

Film adaptations

Simenon's work has been widely adapted to cinema and television. He is credited on at least 171 productions. Notable films include:
  • Armchair Cinema: The Prison (Euston Films/Thames Television, 1974), adapted from 'La Prison'
  • Night at the Crossroads (La Nuit du Carrefour, France, 1932), written and directed by Jean Renoir
    Jean Renoir
    Jean Renoir was a French film director, screenwriter, actor, producer and author. As a film director and actor, he made more than forty films from the silent era to the end of the 1960s...

    , starring Pierre Renoir
    Pierre Renoir
    Pierre Renoir was a French stage and film actor and served briefly as the director of the Théâtre de l'Athénée in Paris, taking over after the death of Louis Jouvet in 1951....

     as Maigret
  • Strangers in the House (Les Inconnus dans la Maison, France, 1942), written by Henri-Georges Clouzot
    Henri-Georges Clouzot
    Henri-Georges Clouzot was a French film director, screenwriter and producer. He is best remembered for his work in the thriller film genre, having directed The Wages of Fear and Les Diaboliques, which are critically recognized to be among the greatest films from the 1950s...

  • Panic (Panique, France, 1946), written and directed by Julien Duvivier
    Julien Duvivier
    Julien Duvivier was a French film director. He was prominent in French cinema in the years 1930-1960...

  • Le voyageur de la Toussaint
    Le voyageur de la Toussaint
    Le voyageur de la Toussaint is a 1943 French detective film directed by Louis Daquin and starring Assia Noris, Jules Berry, Gabrielle Dorziat and Guillaume de Sax. It is an adaptation of a story by Georges Simenon...

    (France, 1943)
  • Dernier Refuge (1947)
  • The Man on the Eiffel Tower (US, 1950), directed by Burgess Meredith
    Burgess Meredith
    Oliver Burgess Meredith , known professionally as Burgess Meredith, was an American actor in theatre, film, and television, who also worked as a director...

    , starring Charles Laughton
    Charles Laughton
    Charles Laughton was an English-American stage and film actor, screenwriter, producer and director.-Early life and career:...

     as Maigret
  • La Marie du Port (France, 1950), directed by Marcel Carné
    Marcel Carné
    -Biography:Born in Paris, France, the son of a cabinet maker whose wife died when their son was five, Carné began his career as a film critic, becoming editor of the weekly publication, Hebdo-Films, and working for Cinémagazine and Cinémonde between 1929 and 1933. In the same period he worked in...

  • The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By
    The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By
    The Man Who Watched Trains Go By is a crime drama film, released in the United Kingdom with an all-European cast, including Claude Rains in the lead role. Rains plays the role of Kees Popinga, who is infatuated with Michele Rozier . The film was released in the United States in 1953 under the...

    (UK, 1952), directed by Harold French
  • The Bottom of the Bottle
    The Bottom of the Bottle
    The Bottom of the Bottle is a 1956 American drama film based on the novel written by Georges Simenon during his stay in Nogales, Arizona. The novel was adapted for film by Sydney Boehm and directed by Henry Hathaway.-Plot:...

    (United States, 1956), directed by Henry Hathaway
    Henry Hathaway
    Henry Hathaway was an American film director and producer. He is best known as a director of Westerns, especially starring John Wayne.-Background:...

  • Inspector Maigret (Maigret Tend un Piège, France, 1958), written and directed by Jean Delannoy
    Jean Delannoy
    Jean Delannoy was a French actor, film editor, screenwriter and film director.Although Delannoy was born in a Paris suburb, his family is from Haute-Normandie in the north of France...

    , starring Jean Gabin
    Jean Gabin
    -Biography:Born Jean-Alexis Moncorgé in Paris, he grew up in the village of Mériel in the Seine-et-Oise département, about 22 mi north of Paris. The son of cabaret entertainers, he attended the Lycée Janson de Sailly...

     as Maigret, Edgar Award
    Edgar Award
    The Edgar Allan Poe Awards , named after Edgar Allan Poe, are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America...

     for Best Foreign Film from the Mystery Writers of America
    Mystery Writers of America
    Mystery Writers of America is an organization for mystery writers, based in New York.The organization was founded in 1945 by Clayton Rawson, Anthony Boucher, Lawrence Treat, and Brett Halliday....

     in 1959
  • The Stowaway
    The Stowaway (1958 film)
    The Stowaway is a 1958 French-Australian film co produced by Lee Robinson. It was shot on location in Tahiti. There are French and English versions.-Cast:* Martine Carol* Roger Livesey* Arletty* Serge Reggiani* Carl Boehm* Reg Lye...

    (1958), directed by Lee Robinson
    Lee Robinson (director)
    Lee Robinson was an Australian producer, director and screenwriter.-Biography:A short story writer prior to the war, Robinson first entered film as a member of the Australian Army History Unit where he filmed Australian troops in Rabaul and East Timor.After the war he joined the Australian...

     adapted from Le Passager Clandestin
  • Love Is My Profession (En Cas de Malheur, France, 1958), directed by Claude Autant-Lara
    Claude Autant-Lara
    Claude Autant-Lara , was a French film director and later Member of the European Parliament .-Biography:...

  • Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case (Maigret et l'Affaire Saint-Fiacre, France, 1959), written and directed by Jean Delannoy
    Jean Delannoy
    Jean Delannoy was a French actor, film editor, screenwriter and film director.Although Delannoy was born in a Paris suburb, his family is from Haute-Normandie in the north of France...

    , starring Jean Gabin
    Jean Gabin
    -Biography:Born Jean-Alexis Moncorgé in Paris, he grew up in the village of Mériel in the Seine-et-Oise département, about 22 mi north of Paris. The son of cabaret entertainers, he attended the Lycée Janson de Sailly...

     as Maigret
  • Passion of Slow Fire, also released as The End of Belle, adapted from Simenon's novel "La Mort de Belle" (see
  • L'Aîné des Ferchaux (France, 1963), written and directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Cop-Out (UK, 1967), written and directed by Pierre Rouve
  • Le Chat
    Le Chat (film)
    Le Chat is a 1971 French-language drama film directed by Pierre Granier-Deferre.-Cast:* Jean Gabin - Julien Bouin* Simone Signoret - Clémence Bouin* Annie Cordy - Nelly* Jacques Rispal - Le docteur / Doctor* Nicole Desailly - L'infirmière / Nurse...

    , France, 1971), written and directed by Pierre Granier-Deferre
    Pierre Granier-Deferre
    Pierre Granier-Deferre was a French film director. His 1971 film Le Chat won the Best Actor and Best Actress awards at the 21st Berlin International Film Festival....

  • The Widow Couderc (La Veuve Couderc, France, 1971), written and directed by Pierre Granier-Deferre
    Pierre Granier-Deferre
    Pierre Granier-Deferre was a French film director. His 1971 film Le Chat won the Best Actor and Best Actress awards at the 21st Berlin International Film Festival....

  • The Clockmaker
    The Clockmaker
    -Selected cast:*Philippe Noiret as Michel Descombes*Jean Rochefort as Insp. Guilboud*Jacques Denis as Antoine*Yves Afonso as Insp. Bricard*Julien Bertheau as Edouard*Jacques Hilling as Costes*Clotilde Joano as Janine Boitard*Andrée Tainsy as Madeleine Fourmet...

    (L'Horloger de Saint-Paul, France, 1974), written and directed by Bertrand Tavernier
    Bertrand Tavernier
    Bertrand Tavernier is a French director, screenwriter, actor, and producer.-Life and career:Tavernier was born in Lyon, the son of Geneviève and René Tavernier, a publicist and writer, several years president of the French PEN club. Tavernier wanted to become a filmmaker since the age of thirteen...

  • The Hatter's Ghost
    The Hatter's Ghost
    The Hatter's Ghost is a 1982 film directed by Claude Chabrol. It is based on the 1947 novel Le Petit Tailleur et le Chapelier by Georges Simenon. The film takes place in Brittany and was shot in the towns of Concarneau and Quimper.-Plot:...

    (Les Fantômes du Chapelier, France, 1982), written and directed by Claude Chabrol
    Claude Chabrol
    Claude Chabrol was a French film director, a member of the French New Wave group of filmmakers who first came to prominence at the end of the 1950s...

  • L'Étoile du Nord
    L'étoile du nord (film)
    L'etoile du nord is a 1982 French film based on a novel by Georges Simenon, starring Simone Signoret, Philippe Noiret, Fanny Cottençon and Julie Jézéquel...

    (France, 1982), written and directed by Pierre Granier-Deferre
    Pierre Granier-Deferre
    Pierre Granier-Deferre was a French film director. His 1971 film Le Chat won the Best Actor and Best Actress awards at the 21st Berlin International Film Festival....

  • Équateur (France, 1983), written and directed by Serge Gainsbourg
    Serge Gainsbourg
    Serge Gainsbourg, born Lucien Ginsburg was a French singer-songwriter, actor and director. Gainsbourg's extremely varied musical style and individuality make him difficult to categorize...

  • Monsieur Hire
    Monsieur Hire
    Monsieur Hire is a 1989 French film directed by Patrice Leconte and starring Michel Blanc in the title role and Sandrine Bonnaire as the object of his affection. The film received numerous accolades as well as a glowing review from popular American movie commentator Roger Ebert. The film is based...

    (France, 1989), written and directed by Patrice Leconte
    Patrice Leconte
    Patrice Leconte is a French film director, actor, comic strip writer, and screenwriter.-Biography:...

  • Betty (France, 1992), written and directed by Claude Chabrol
    Claude Chabrol
    Claude Chabrol was a French film director, a member of the French New Wave group of filmmakers who first came to prominence at the end of the 1950s...

  • La Maison du canal
    La Maison du canal
    La Maison du canal is a Franco-Belgian telefilm, directed by Alain Berliner, released in 2003. Its running time is 94 minutes.-Technical details:* Director: Alain Berliner...

    (France and Belgium, 2003), directed by Alain Berliner
    Alain Berliner
    Alain Berliner is a Belgian director best known for the 1997 film Ma vie en rose, which won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 55th Golden Globe Awards in 1998...

  • Red Lights (France, 2004), directed by Cédric Kahn
    Cédric Kahn
    Cédric Kahn is a French screenwriter and film director. His films include L'Ennui , from the Alberto Moravia novel Boredom and Red Lights , from the Georges Simenon novel...

  • The Man from London
    The Man From London
    The Man from London is a 2007 film by Hungarian director Béla Tarr. It is an adaptation by Tarr and his collaborator-friend László Krasznahorkai of the 1934 French language novel L'Homme de Londres by prolific Belgian writer Georges Simenon...

    (Hungary, 2007), written and directed by Béla Tarr
    Béla Tarr
    -Life:Tarr was born in Pécs, but grew up in Budapest. Both of his parents were close to theatre and film: his father was a scenery designer, while his mother has been working as a prompter at a theater for more than 50 years now...

External links

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