Famous 21st Century French Writers

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 1 
Milan Kundera
(Czech Writer Best Known for His Novel 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being')
Milan Kundera
4
Birthdate: April 1, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brno, Czechia

Milan Kundera is a Czech writer who became a naturalized French citizen in 1981 after going into exile in France in 1975. Although his Czechoslovak citizenship was revoked four years after going into exile, he received Czech citizenship in 2019, thanks to his achievements as a writer. He is the recipient of several prestigious awards, such as the Jerusalem Prize.

 2 
Samuel Benchetrit
(French Writer, Actor, and Director)
Samuel Benchetrit
4
Birthdate: June 26, 1973
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Champigny-sur-Marne, France

Samuel Benchetrit is a French writer, scenarist, actor, and director. Over the years, Benchetrit's achievements as a writer and actor have been overshadowed by his personal life and relationships with popular actresses like Marie Trintignant, Anna Mouglalis, and Vanessa Paradis.

 3 
Jacques Pepin
6
Birthdate: December 18, 1935
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bourg-en-Bresse, French Third Republic France
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 4 
Eric Ripert
5
Birthdate: March 2, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Antibes, France
 5 
Marjane Satrapi
(Graphic Novelist Known for Her Works 'Persepolis' and 'Chicken with Plums')
Marjane Satrapi
8
Birthdate: November 22, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rasht, Iran

Marjane Satrapi is a graphic novelist, illustrator, cartoonist, children's book author, and film director. Satrapi achieved international recognition in the early-2000s after releasing her critically acclaimed graphic novels. She is best known for writing and directing an animated biographical drama film titled Persepolis, which received nominations at prestigious award ceremonies, such as the Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, and Golden Globes.

 6 
Michel Houellebecq
(Author Best Known for His Works 'Atomised' and 'The Map and the Territory')
Michel Houellebecq
9
Birthdate: February 26, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint-Pierre, Réunion, France

Michel Houellebecq is a French author known for his novels, essays, and poems. He also occasionally makes films. As controversial as he is popular, he has been accused of obscenity, misogyny, racism, and Islamophobia. His works generally receive positive responses and some critics consider him one of the greatest living authors today. He is a recipient of the Prix Goncourt. 

 7 
Mireille Mathieu
5
Birthdate: July 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Avignon, France
French singer Mireille Mathieu began her career by participating in an annual singing contest in Avignon. She has recorded over 1200 songs in eleven languages in her career spanning over four decades. With more than 150 million albums sold worldwide, the chanteuse is classically known for her illustrious crooning. In 1974, she won the German "Bambi" Music Award.
 8 
Gabriel Matzneff
3
Birthdate: August 12, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
 9 
Joël Robuchon
4
Birthdate: April 7, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Poitiers, Vienne, France
Died: August 6, 2018
 10 
Elif Shafak
(Writer)
Elif Shafak
5
Birthdate: October 25, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France

Known widely as Turkey’s most popular female author, Elif Shafak is best known for her Booker-shortlisted bestseller 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World. A fierce advocate for gender equality and LGBTQ rights, she is also a 3-time TEDGlobal speaker. She now lives in London, on a self-imposed exile.

 11 
Thomas Piketty
(French Economist Best Known for His Work 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century')
Thomas Piketty
4
Birthdate: May 7, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Clichy, France

French economist and professor Thomas Piketty is best known for his book Capital in the Twenty-first Century, which became a New York Times bestseller. He has taught at prestigious institutes such as LSE and MIT. He proposed taxing the rich to prevent high incomes and not merely to increase government revenue.

 12 
Judith Godrèche
5
Birthdate: March 23, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
 13 
Yasmina Reza
(Playwright)
Yasmina Reza
3
Birthdate: May 1, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
 14 
Renaud Camus
(Writer)
Renaud Camus
3
Birthdate: August 10, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chamalières, France
 15 
Éric Zemmour
(French Far-Right Politician Known for His Controversial Views Regarding Immigration and Islam in France)
Éric Zemmour
3
Birthdate: August 31, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montreuil, France

French far-right politician Éric Zemmour gained fame on the show Face à l'Info. He has also been a prominent political journalist for publications such as Le Quotidien de Paris and Le Figaro. The founder-leader of Reconquête, he was grabbed by the neck by an unknown man at his first campaign rally.

 16 
Bernard-Henri Lévy
(French Intellectual and Leader of the 'New Philosophers' Movement)
Bernard-Henri Lévy
3
Birthdate: November 5, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Béni Saf, Algeria

Bernard-Henri Lévy is a French intellectual best known as one of the leaders of the New Philosophers movement in 1976. Over the years, Lévy's political activism, publications, and opinions have been the subject of controversies. Bernard-Henri Lévy's works have also been translated into numerous languages including English.

 17 
Hélène Cixous
(French Feminist Writer and Philosopher Best Known for Her Article ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’)
Hélène Cixous
3
Birthdate: June 5, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oran, Algeria

Hélène Cixous is a professor, poet, playwright, rhetorician, literary critic, philosopher, and French feminist writer. She is best known for writing an article titled The Laugh of the Medusa, which earned her popularity and established her as a thinker in post-structural feminism.

 18 
Patrick Modiano
(French Novelist and Winner of 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature )
Patrick Modiano
3
Birthdate: July 30, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Boulogne-Billancourt, France

Nobel Prize-winning French author Patrick Modiano was born in Paris, in the post-World War II era, and was introduced to literature by his geometry teacher Raymond Queneau, who was also a writer. Modiano's novels, mostly containing a fusion of autobiographical and fictional elements, depicted the impact of war on people.

 19 
George Steiner
(Literary critic, Essayist, Philosopher, Novelist)
George Steiner
3
Birthdate: April 23, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: February 3, 2020
 20 
Raymond Blanc
(French Chef)
Raymond Blanc
3
Birthdate: November 19, 1949
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Besançon, France

Born in small village in eastern France, Raymond Blanc grew up enjoying farm-fresh food. Mostly a self-taught chef, he later launched the double-Michelin-starred restaurant Le Manoir. He has trained chefs such as David Goodridge and has appeared on shows like his own series, Food & Drink.

 21 
Florian Zeller
(Novelist)
Florian Zeller
3
Birthdate: June 28, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
 22 
Jacques Vallée
(Scientist)
Jacques Vallée
3
Birthdate: September 24, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pontoise, Val-d'Oise, France

Jacques Vallée is a French computer scientist, Internet pioneer, venture capitalist, astronomer, ufologist, and author. Vallée is credited with co-developing the first computerized map of Mars, which was used by NASA in the 1960s. An influential personality in the study of UFOs, Jacques Vallée has promoted such hypothesis as the interdimensional hypothesis.

 23 
Julia Kristeva
(Bulgarian-French Author and Academic Whose Themes Surrounded on Feminism, Semiotics, and Psychoanalysis)
Julia Kristeva
4
Birthdate: June 24, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sliven, Bulgaria

Bulgarian-born French author and literary critic Julia Kristeva is also a professor at the University Paris Diderot. Her writings, such as the Female Genius trilogy, are centered around feminism, semiotics, and psychoanalysis. She has also pioneered semanalysis and has been recognized with honors such as Commander of the Legion of Honor.

 24 
Bertrand Cantat
(Singer, Guitarist, Lyricist, Singer-songwriter, Poet)
Bertrand Cantat
3
Birthdate: March 5, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pau

Former frontman of the French rock band Noir Désir, Bertrand Cantat made headlines when he beat his girlfriend actor Marie Trintignant to death in a Lithuanian hotel. His sentence of 8 years was later commuted to 4. His ex-wife Krisztina Rády later committed suicide in his presence at her home.

 25 
Amin Maalouf
(Lebanese-Born French Author and Journalist)
Amin Maalouf
3
Birthdate: February 25, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

One of the greatest authors and journalists born in Lebanon, Amin Maalouf initially reported major political events around the world. He is known for his internationally bestselling French books, such as Samarkand and Balthasar's Odyssey. His novels usually have a historical setting, with war and migration as prominent themes.

 26 
Catherine Breillat
5
Birthdate: July 13, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bressuire,France
 27 
Claude Lanzmann
(French filmmaker known for the Holocaust documentary film Shoah (1985))
Claude Lanzmann
3
Birthdate: November 27, 1925
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bois-Colombes, France
Died: July 5, 2018
 28 
Matthieu Ricard
(Buddhist monk, author of more than a dozen books, including Happiness (2006), Why Meditate? (2010) and An Ode to Beauty (2016))
Matthieu Ricard
3
Birthdate: February 15, 1946
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aix-les-Bains, France

Matthieu Ricard is a French photographer, writer, translator, and Buddhist monk. He serves as a board member of the popular not-for-profit organization Mind and Life Institute. After having received a Ph.D. degree from the Pasteur Institute, Ricard gave up his scientific career to practice Tibetan Buddhism. He is also the co-founder of another international non-profit organization, Karuna-Shechen.

 29 
Alain Badiou
(Philosopher)
Alain Badiou
3
Birthdate: January 17, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rabat, Morocco
 30 
Michel Onfray
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Argentan, France
 31 
Céline Tran
(Actress)
Céline Tran
5
Birthdate: April 9, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lyon, France
 32 
Jean-Pierre Thiollet
3
Birthdate: December 9, 1956
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: France
 33 
Anne Wiazemsky
(Former Actress, novelist who made her cinema debut at the age of 18, playing Marie, the lead character in Robert Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar (1966))
Anne Wiazemsky
3
Birthdate: May 14, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: October 5, 2017
 34 
Carine Roitfeld
(Fashion editor)
Carine Roitfeld
3
Birthdate: September 19, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
 35 
Bahia Bakari
(Sole survivor of Yemenia Flight 626)
Bahia Bakari
0
Birthdate: August 15, 1996
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Evry, France
 36 
Édouard Louis
4
Birthdate: October 30, 1992
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Picardie, France

Édouard Louis is a French writer whose literary work is often inspired by the hardships that he faced during his childhood. His autobiographical novel En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule, which became the subject of extensive media attention, was praised for its compelling story. The novel earned him the 2014 Pierre Guénin Prize.

 37 
Gao Xingjian
(Chinese-born French Naturalized Playwright and Novelist Who Won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2000)
Gao Xingjian
3
Birthdate: January 4, 1940
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ganzhou, China

Gao Xingjian is a Chinese-born émigré and French naturalized playwright, novelist, critic, photographer, film director, translator, and painter. He is best known for winning the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 2000. Gao Xingjian has also received other major awards, including the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement. 

 38 
Suha Arafat
(Author)
Suha Arafat
5
Birthdate: July 17, 1963
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
 39 
François-Marie Banier
3
Birthdate: June 27, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France

François-Marie Banier is a French playwright, novelist, photographer, artist, and actor. Renowned for his photographs of public figures and celebrities, Banier is also known for his wide circle of friends and acquaintances with members of high society. In 2016, François-Marie Banier became entangled in a prominent legal case in which he was convicted of exploiting elderly billionaire Liliane Bettencourt.

 40 
Marie Drucker
(Journalist)
Marie Drucker
3
Birthdate: December 3, 1974
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
 41 
Bernard Werber
(French Science Fiction Writer Best Known for His 'Les Fourmis Book' Trilogy)
Bernard Werber
3
Birthdate: September 18, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Toulouse, France

French sci-fi author Bernard Werber is best known for his trilogy Les Fourmis, which gained international fame as The Ants. He is known for his signature style of using animals symbolically in his works. He is part of the Institute for Research on Extraordinary Experiences, and his interests include paranormal experiences.

 42 
Virginie Despentes
3
Birthdate: June 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nancy, France
 43 
Mijanou Bardot
5
Birthdate: May 5, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
 44 
J. M. G. Le Clézio
(Winner of 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature)
J. M. G. Le Clézio
3
Birthdate: April 13, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nice, France

Nobel Prize-winning French-Mauritian author J. M. G. Le Clézio is also a renowned academician who has taught at Nanjing University. His debut novel, Le Procès-Verbal, or The Interrogation, which he had penned at 23, won him the Prix Renaudot. His works also include short stories, children’s tales, and travel diaries.

 45 
Élisabeth Depardieu
3
Birthdate: August 5, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
 46 
Thierry Lhermitte
(French Actor, Film Producer, Director, and Writer)
Thierry Lhermitte
3
Birthdate: November 24, 1952
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France

Thierry Lhermitte is a French actor, film producer, director, and writer. He is credited with founding a comedy troupe called Le Splendid. The group adapted many of its stage shows into films and came up with successful movies, such as Les Bronzés, Le Père Noël est une ordure, and Un indien dans la ville.

 47 
Jean-Claude Carriere
3
Birthdate: September 17, 1931
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Colombières-sur-Orb, France
Died: February 8, 2021
 48 
Fred Vargas
(French Historian, Archaeologist and Novelist Known for Her Work on the 'Black Death')
Fred Vargas
3
Birthdate: June 7, 1957
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France

Fred Vargas is a French archaeologist, historian, and novelist. She is best known for her work on the bubonic plague, the Black Death. In 2009, she became the first author to win three International Dagger Awards for three consecutive novels, having won the award in 2006 and 2008. In 2018, she was honored with the prestigious Princess of Asturias Prize.

 49 
Enki Bilal
(Comic book creator)
Enki Bilal
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1951
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Belgrade, Serbia
 50 
Moira Lister
(Actress)
Moira Lister
3
Birthdate: August 6, 1923
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa
Died: October 27, 2007