Born in Casablanca in 1944 into a military family and, after a childhood spent around the world, including Africa, Asia and Europe, he graduated in Literature at the University of Nice and began working as a high school teacher in the city. While in Paris, he devoted himself to writing but without giving up teaching 'difficult' kids. His stories stand out for their humour and surrealism, even if they are well-rooted in the contradictions of our time. Author of several books for children, as well as essays and comics, he achieved success after 40 with the famous Belleville series (named after the Parisian neighbourhood where he lives): seven novels - the latest "Ils m'ont menti" (2017) is focused on the character of Benjamin Malaussène, a professional scapegoat, and his family. The books have all become bestsellers around the world thanks to their lively prose and unforgettable cast of characters. In the nineties, together with his saga for children featuring the protagonist Kamo, Pennac gave voice to the reader and their inalienable rights with "Comme un roman" (1992). His most recent successes include " Chagrin d'école" (2008), in which autobiographical memories are interwoven into a broad reflection on the relationships between teachers, pupils and families, " Journal d'un corps" (2012), written as a diary which follows the protagonist from age twelve to death and "Ernest e Celestine" (2013). In 2005, the French government gave him the Legion of Honour for Arts and Literature. In 2013, he was awarded an Honorary Degree in Pedagogy by the University of Bologna.
(photo: © Festivaletteratura)