Émile Zola was an author, playwright, journalist and the founder of the Naturalist movement in French literature. His novel Thérèse Raquin caused a scandal on publication and was adapted for the stage in 1873 by Zola himself. This was followed by his Rougon-Macquart cycle (1871-1893), a series of twenty novels focused on one family under France's Second Empire. He was nominated for the first and second Nobel in Literature in 1901 and 1902.
Zola died in mysterious circumstances in 1902, and it remains uncertain whether it was an accident or murder.
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