Jean Genet (born illegitimately on December 19, 1910 in Paris, died April 15, 1986 in Paris) was a novelist, playwright, and poet. His novels and plays, full of sexual situations, usually deal with pimps, thieves, gay men and other social outcasts, reflecting his own experiences as a gay prison inmate.
Having been accused of stealing at age ten, Genet decided to become an actual thief and spent his teenage years in youth prison. Later, as a variety of sources have reported, he lived as a male prostitute. In 1943, he was convicted to serve a life-long sentence and decided to take up writing.
His first novel, widely regarded as his best, Our Lady of the Flowers (1944), describes a journey through the Parisian underworld. In The Miracle of the Rose (1946), he focuses on his life in prison, where he meets men again who had been his lovers in youth prison. Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Cocteau, and Pablo Picasso found his work so brilliant, that eventually he was pardoned in 1948.
Later works by him include The Thief's Journal (1949) and Querelle (1947), the movie version of which was the last film directed by Rainer Fassbinder. Todd Haynes' 1991 movie Poison was also based on the writings of Genet.