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|Born||Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola
2 April 1840
|Died||29 September 1902
|Occupation||Novelist, playwright, journalist|
|Notable works||Les Rougon-Macquart, Thérèse Raquin, Germinal|
Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola (//;French: [e.mil zo.la]; 2 April 1840 – 29 September 1902) was a French novelist, playwright, journalist, the best-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism, and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'accuse. Zola was nominated for the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902.
Zola was born in Paris in 1840. His father, François Zola (originally Francesco Zola), was an Italian engineer, born in Venice in 1795, who engineered the Zola Dam in Aix-en-Provence and his mother, Émilie Aubert, was French. The family moved to Aix-en-Provence in the southeast when Émile was three years old. Four years later, in 1847, his father died, leaving his mother on a meager pension. In 1858, the Zolas moved to Paris, where Émile's childhood friend Paul Cézanne soon joined him. Zola started to write in the romantic style. His widowed mother had planned a law career for Émile, but he failed his Baccalauréat examination twice.
Before his breakthrough as a writer, Zola worked as a clerk in a shipping firm and then in the sales department for a publisher (Hachette). He also wrote literary and art reviews for newspapers. As a political journalist, Zola did not hide his dislike of Napoleon III, who had successfully run for the office of president under the constitution of the French Second Republic, only to misuse this position as a springboard for the coup d'état that made him emperor.
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