21 April, 2009
Jean Giono was a French author renowned for his works of fiction set in the Provence region of France.
He was born and lived for many years in Manosque, Haute Provence. After finishing his studies at the local high school, he worked as a bank employee until World War I, during which he served as a soldier. In 1919, he returned to the bank and a year later, married a childhood friend with whom he had two children. He left the bank in 1930 to dedicate himself to writing on a full-time basis, after the success of his first novel, Colline.
In 1953, he was the recipient of the Prince Rainier of Monaco literary prize, awarded for his lifetime achievements. He later became a member of the Académie Goncourt in 1954 and joined the Conseil Littéraire of Monaco in 1963.
Among his most famous writings are the three novels of his "Pan Trilogy", which allude to the Greek God Pan and pantheism: Colline, Un de Baumugnes, and Regain. He is also well known for the book Voyage in Italy and the short story The Man Who Planted Trees (1953).
The Man Who Planted Trees has a particular resonance in the early 21st century, with its strong ecological, human-scale sustainability message.