Julien Gracq (1910-2007) taught history and geography in various lycées. A close friend of André Breton, his work was inspired by German Romanticism, and combines startling imagery with a rich, precise metre. Staunchly avoiding the French literary scene-he refused the Prix Goncourt in 1951-he is one of the few authors to have been published in the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade during his lifetime. He died in 2007 aged 97. Julien Gracq's A Dark Stranger is also available from Pushkin Press.