David Bellos

Meredith Howland Pyne Professor of French and Comparative Literature
Email Address: 
Office Location: 
330 East Pyne

On Leave





David Bellos gained his doctorate in French literature from Oxford University (UK) and taught subsequently at Edinburgh, Southampton and Manchester before coming to Princeton in 1997. He worked first in nineteenth century studies, particularly on the novel and the history of literary ideas and then developed interests in post-war French writing and film. He is the translator and biographer of Georges Perec and has also written major studies of Jacques Tati and Romain Gary.  A well-known translator, he is also the author of an irreverent introduction to translation studies, Is That A Fish in Your Ear? His most recent book, The Novel of the Century, marks a return to nineteenth century France  from a trans-national point of view. He has a joint appointment in French and Comparative Literature and is also Director of the PIIRS Graduate Fellows Program. He has won the French-American Foundation’s translation prize (1988), the Prix Goncourt de la Biographie (1994), the Man Booker International translator’s award (2005) and the Book Award of the American Library in Paris, and holds the rank of officier in the Orde national des Arts et des Lettres. He was the recipient of the 2019 Howard T. Berhman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities.

Teaching Interests

Modern and contemporary European fiction; Translation Studies; experimental writing since the 1960s (especially Queneau, Perec and Roubaud); nineteenth century studies. He teaches French-English translation classes and also co-teaches a course on the history of copyright.