From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
He was born in Argentina because of the constant journeys of his father, a Lithuanian doctor of Jewish origin. Joseph Kessel lived the first years of his childhood in Orenburg, Russia, before the family moved to France. He studied in Nice and Paris, and took part in the First World War as an aviator.
Kessel wrote several novels and books that were later represented in the cinema, such as Belle de jour (by Luis Buñuel in 1967). He was also a member of the Académie française from 1962 to 1979. In 1943 he and Maurice Druon translated Anna Marly's song Chant des Partisans into French from its original Russian. The song became one of the anthems of the Free French Forces.
- La steppe rouge (1922)
- L'équipage (1923)
- Les captifs (1926), grand prix du roman of the Académie française
- Nuits de princes (1927)
- Belle de jour (1928), inspired Luis Buñuel's 1967 movie.
- Fortune carrée (1932)
- La Passante du Sans-Souci (1936) - movie by Jacques Rouffio in 1982.
- L'Armée des ombres (1943), movie by Jean-Pierre Melville in 1969.
- Le tour du malheur (1950)
- Le lion (1958)
- The Magic Touch, also published in USA as The Man with the Miraculous Hands (1962)
- Les cavaliers (1967)
- Partout un ami (1972)
- Des hommes (1972)
- Les temps sauvages (1975)