GUSTAVE FLAUBERT grew up in Rouen and did not leave his birth city until he was nineteen when he went to study law in Paris. After three years, however, Flaubert abandoned law and began writing. His first finished work was November, a novella. In September 1849, Flaubert completed the first version of a novel, The Temptation of Saint Anthony. His exploration of themes of spiritual torment was just the beginning of Flaubert’s controversial subject choices. His frank and realistic display of the sex, adultery and other goings-on in bourgeois France in Madame Bovary saw him go on trial for immorality, charges he only narrowly escaped. He died in 1880.
ADAM THORPE was born in Paris in 1956. His first novel, Ulverton, was published in 1992, and he has written eight others — most recently The Standing Pool — two collections of stories and five books of poetry. He lives in France with
his wife and family.