Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt

Over the last two decades, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt has become one of the most read and acted French-language authors in the world. Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, his plays have won several Molières and the French Academy’s “Grand Prix du Théâtre”. His books have been translated into 43 languages, and more than 50 countries regularly perform his plays. According recent statistics (cf. column “Statistics”), he is now the most studied author in schools and colleges.

Born in 1960, he attended the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure where he was awarded a doctorate in Philosophy and the top French teaching qualification. Schmitt first made a name for himself in the theatre with The Visitor, a play that posits a meeting between Freud and – possibly – God; the work soon became a classic and is now part of international repertoire. Further successes quickly followed, including Enigma Variations with Alain Delon and Francis Huster, The Libertine with Bernard Giraudeau, Frederick Or the Crime Boulevard with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Between Worlds with Rufus, Partners in Crime with Charlotte Rampling and Bernard Giraudeau, Mr. Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Coran with Bruno Abraham-Kremer, The Gospels according to Pilate with Jacques Weber, Oscar and the Lady in Pink with Danielle Darrieux, Sentimental Tectonics with Clémentine Célarié and Tchéky Kario, Kiki Van Beethoven with Danièle Lebrun, The Diary of Anne Frank with Francis Huster, a world creation with an exceptional authorization of the Anne Frank Foundation, Un homme trop facile with Roland Giraud, The Guitrys with Claire Keim and Martin Lamotte and Einstein’s Betrayal with Francis Huster, Jean-Claude Dreyfus and Dan Herzberg. He acquires on March 28th 2012 with Bruno Metzger the Theatre Rive Gauche in Paris and became Artistic Director as well.

He wrote the Cycle de l’Invisible, a series of six tales dealing with childhood and spirituality, the six novellas have met with huge success both on stage and in the bookshops : Milarepa, Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran, Oscar and the Lady in Pink, Noah’s Child, Le sumo qui ne pouvait pas grossir and Les dix enfants que Madame Ming n’a jamais eus (The ten children that Madame Ming never had).

Much of his literary career has been devoted to writing novels. An early novel, The Sect of the Egoists was followed by novels of light, The Gospel According to Pilate, and shadows, The Alternative Hypothesis. Since then he has written When I was a Work of Art, a whimsical and contemporary version of the Faustus myth. Ulysses from Bagdad is a picaresque saga for our time that questions the human condition. In his novel - Three Women in a Mirror - edited at the start of the literary year, he presents three lives, three remarkable adventures, three women with extraordinary parallels, united by the sense of their own difference and by their desire to escape the image which the mirror of their day holds up to them. In his book The Parrots of the Place d’Arezzo, he offers an encyclopedia of the desires, the feelings and the pleasures, The novel of the loving behaviour of our time. In his last novel L’élixir d’amour, he explores the mystery of love and attraction.

Practising the art of writing stories with happiness and success, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt published a collection of four short stories : Odette Toulemonde and other stories, eight tales about women in search of happiness inspired by his first film, The Dreamer of Ostend, a wonderful tribute to the power of the imagination. In 2010, Concerto in Memory of an Angel was awarded the prestigious Prix Goncourt de la Nouvelle (short stories) and Les deux messieurs de Bruxelles (The two Gentlemen of Brussels) : delightfully and fantastical stories which deal with love in all its forms: conjugal, clandestine, paternal, filial but also love of art and love for humanity.

Encouraged by the international success of his first film Odette Toulemonde with Catherine Frot and Albert Dupontel, he has adapted Oscar and the Lady in Pink for the screen with Michèle Laroque, Amir and Max von Sydow (2009).

A keen music-lover, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt has also translated into French The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni from the original Italian. To Mozart, he wrote a book, My Life with Mozart, a strikingly original compilation of private correspondence with the Austrian composer, followed by Quand je pense que Beethoven est mort alors que tant de crétins vivent (When I Think that Beethoven is Dead when so Many Morons are Alive) building up the second volume of “The noise that thinks”. Always curious, he opens permanently new doors and aims to new mirrors, to our great pleasure. He evokes his passion to Georges Bizet and Carmen in making his beginnings at the National Opera of Paris with Le Mystère Bizet in October 2012 and successfully in Paris at "salle Gaveau" on February 2014.

In 2014, two magnificent operas have been created based on his texts, Oscar und die Dame in rosa by Francis Bollon in Freiburg, Cosi Fanciulli on an original topic by Nicolas Bacri at “St.Quentin-en-Yvelines”, then at the “Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.”

In pursuing a lifelong dream, Dupuis has published in september 2013 his first graphic novel 1st Chick "Les aventures de Poussin 1er", sketched by the talented Janry.

Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt lives in Brussels. He is occupying the seat 33 of the Royal Belgian French Language and Literature Academy, occupied before him by Colette and Cocteau. All his French-language works are published by Albin Michel.