Skip to main content

French Literature: A Guide to Resources: Biographical Sources

A guide to reference sources and databases available through the Cornell University Library

.

Biographical Sources

Dictionnaire de la littérature française XX siècle, [préface de Bertrand Poirot-Delpech ; introduction de Jean-Didier Wagneur]. Paris : Albin Michel : Encyclopaedia Universalis, 2000. Olin stacks PQ41 D51z 2000

Dictionnaire littéraire des femmes de langue française: de Marie de France à Marie NDiaye, Christiane P. Makward et Madeleine Cottenet-Hage ; avec la collaboration de Mary-Helen Becker, Erica Eisinger et al. Paris : Karthala, c1996. Olin stacks PQ149 M27 1996z

Le dictionnaire: littérature française contemporaine, Jérôme Garcin ; avec la collaboration de André Clavel ... [et al.]. Paris : F. Bourin, c1988. Olin stacks PQ41 G21

Dictionary of Literary Biography.
An ongoing set of volumes designed to provide biographic, bibliographic and critical material on major writers of America and Great Britain as well as some writers of Canada, France and Germany. Each volume is arranged alphabetically by the writers covered. There are numerous portraits and often there are appendices containing special information. A list of further reading concludes each volume. An index to all volumes appears at the end of each latest volume. Individual author essays are available online through the Literature Resource Center, minus illustrations, photographs, and other visual material that appears in the printed volumes. The volumes of particular interest to French literature are:

    Vol. 65 French novelists, 1900-1930 Vol. 72 French novelists, 1930-1960
    Vol. 83 French novelists since 1960
    Vol. 119 Nineteenth-century French fiction writers : romanticism and realism, 1800-1860
    Vol. 123 Nineteenth-century French fiction writers : naturalism and beyond, 1860-1900
    Vol. 192 French dramatists, 1789-1914
    Vol. 208 Literature of the French and Occitan Middle Ages : eleventh to fifteenth centuries
    Vol. 217 Nineteenth-century French poets
    Vol. 258 Modern French poets
    Vol. 268 Seventeenth-Century French writers
    Vols. 313 & 314 Writers of the French Enlightenment
    Vol. 321 Twentieth-century French dramatists
    Vol. 327 Sixteenth-century French writers

Print editions of these volumes are located in the Dean Room of Uris Library, shelved along the south wall (Uris Reference PS 129 D55)

French Women Writers : a Bio-bibliographical Source Book edited by Eva Martin Sartori and Dorothy Wynne Zimmerman. New York : Greenwood Press, 1991. Olin Reference PQ149 F73x 1991
"...describes the lives and careers of fifty-two literary figures from the twelfth century to the late twentieth. All the contributors are recognized authorities. Some of their subjects, like Colette and George Sand, are celebrated, and others are just now gaining critical notice. From Christine de Pizan and Marguerite de Navarre to Rachilde and Hélène Cixous, from Louise Labe to Marguerite Duras—these women speak through the centuries to issues of gender, sexuality, and language." (publisher)

Literature Resource Center.
" LRC combines biographical, bibliographical, and contextual information to deliver a complete reference/resource package on authors and their works (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, history, and journalism). Centering on respected Gale sources, including Contemporary Authors, Dictionary of Literary Biography, and Contemporary Literary Criticism, this data set is augmented with full-text, excerpted, and commissioned critical material illuminating an oeuvre or era. In partnership with Merriam-Webster, Inc., LRC offers the Encyclopedia of Literature including over 10,000 entries for authors, works, literary landmarks, literary and critical terms, mythological and folkloric figures, fictional characters, literary movements, and prizes. Partnering with Macmillan Library Reference, LRC offers The Scribner Writer Series, providing more than 1500 original biocritical essays on authors of all nationalities and time periods. And The Twayne Authors Series: Twayne's US Authors, Twayne's English Authors and Twayne's World Authors,providing literary criticism, history and influence of literary movements, and the development of literary genres for approximately 200 authors."