Born in the town of Rouen, in northern France, in 1821, Gustave Flaubert was sent to study law in Paris at the age of 18. After only three years, his career was interrupted and he retired to live with his widowed mother in their family home at Croisset, on the banks of the Seine River. Supported by a private income, he devoted himself to his writing. Flaubert traveled with writer Maxime du Camp from November 1849 to April 1851 to North Africa, Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Italy. When he returned he began Madame Bovary, which appeared first in the Revue in 1856 and in book form the next year. The realistic depiction of adultery was condemned as immoral and Flaubert was prosecuted, but escaped conviction. Other major works include Salammbo (1862), Sentimental Education (1869), and The Temptation of Saint Antony (1874). His long novel Bouvard et Pecuchet was unfinished at his death in 1880. After his death, Flaubert's fame and reputation grew steadily, strengthened by the publication of his unfinished novel in 1881 and the many volumes of his correspondence.
Lydia Davis is a writer and translator. She is a professor of creative writing at the University at Albany, SUNY, and was a Lillian Vernon Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at New York University in 2012. Davis has published six collections of short stories, including The Thirteenth Woman and Other Stories (1976) and Break It Down (1986), a Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her most recent collection was Varieties of Disturbance, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2007 and a Finalist for the National Book Award. Davis' stories are acclaimed for their brevity and humor. Many are only one or two sentences. Her book Can't and Won't made the New York Times Bestseller List in 2014. She has also translated Proust, Flaubert, Blanchot, Foucault, Michel Leiris, Pierre Jean Jouve and other French writers, as well as the Dutch writer A.L. Snijders. In October 2003 Davis received a MacArthur Fellowship. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005. Davis was announced as the winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize on 22 May 2013. Davis won ï¿½60,000 as part of the biennial award.