Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant (1850 – 1893) was a popular French writer, considered one of the fathers of the modern short story and one of the form's finest exponents. His stories are characterized by economy of style and efficient, effortless outcomes. Many are set during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s, describing the futility of war and the innocent civilians who, caught up in events beyond their control, are permanently changed by their experiences. He wrote more than 300 short stories, six novels, three travel books, and one volume of verse. His first published story, "Boule de Suif" ("Ball of Fat", 1880), is often considered his masterpiece.
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