René Maran

(Fort-de-FranceMartinique, 8 November 1887 – 9 May 1960) was a French Guyanese poet and novelist, and the first black writer to win the French Prix Goncourt (in 1921).


Born on the boat carrying his parents to Fort-de-France where he lived till the age of seven. After that he went to Gabon, where his father Héménéglide Maran was in the colonial service. After attending boarding school in BordeauxFrance, he joined the French Colonial service in French Equatorial Africa. It was his experience there that was the basis for many of his novels, including Batouala: A True Black Novel, which won the Prix Goncourt.

Selected works

  • La Maison du Bonheur (poetry, 1909)
  • La Vie Intérieure (poetry, 1912)
  • Batouala (novel, 1921)
  • Le Livre de la Brousse (novel, 1934)
  • Un Homme pareil aux autres (novel, 1947)