Jean Genet was a prominent and controversial French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing. His major works include the novels Querelle of Brest, The Thief's Journal, and Our Lady of the Flowers,
On Christmas Day in 1908, a child born in London's drab suburbs was given the incredibly ordinary Christian name of Dennis Pratt. But this child knew right away that the ordinary was not for him. In due time Pratt would give himself a new name, one that befit his true persona: Quentin Crisp.