Georges Perec

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Georges Perec (7 March 1936, Paris – 3 March 1982) was a French novelist, filmmaker and essayist. He was a member of the Oulipo group.



Perec was born the only son of Icek Judko and Cyrla (Schulewicz) Peretz – Polish Jews who had emigrated to France in the 1920s – in a working-class district of Paris. He was a distant relative of the Yiddish writer I.L. Peretz. Perec's father, who enlisted in the French Army during World War II, died in 1940 from unattended gunfire or shrapnel wounds, and Perec's mother perished in the Nazi Holocaust, probably in Auschwitz. Perec was taken into the care of his paternal aunt and uncle in 1942, and in 1945 he was formally adopted by them.

He started writing reviews and essays for La Nouvelle Revue Française and Les Lettres Nouvelles, prominent literary publications, while studying history and sociology at the Sorbonne. In 1958–59 Perec served in the army, and married Paulette Petras after being discharged. They spent one year (1960–1961) in Sfax (Tunisia), where Paulette worked as a teacher.

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