André Malraux


Biography of André Malraux

André Malraux (3 November 1901 – 23 November 1976) was a French novelist, art theorist and Minister for Cultural Affairs. Malraux's novel La Condition Humaine (Man's Fate) (1933) won the Prix Goncourt. He was appointed by President Charles de Gaulle as Minister of Information (1945–1946) and subsequently as France's first Minister of Cultural Affairs during de Gaulle's presidency (1959–1969).

Malraux was born in Paris in 1901, the son of Fernand-Georges Malraux and Berthe Lamy (Malraux). His parents separated in 1905 and eventually divorced. There are suggestions that Malraux's paternal grandfather committed suicide in 1909.

Malraux was raised by his mother, maternal aunt Marie and maternal grandmother, Adrienne Lamy-Romagna, who had a grocery store in the small town of Bondy. His father, a stockbroker, committed suicide in 1930 after the international crash of the stock market and onset of the Great Depression. From his childhood, associates noticed that Andre had marked nervousness and motor and vocal tics. The recent biographer Olivier Todd, who published a book on Malraux in 2005, suggests that he had Tourette's syndrome, although that has not been confirmed. Either way, most critics have not seen this as a significant factor in Malraux's life or literary works.

The young Malraux left formal education early, but he followed his curiosity through the booksellers and museums in Paris, and explored its rich libraries as well.

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