Jean Genet

Jean Genet was a French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. His works often explore themes of existentialism, rebellion, and the marginalized in society.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Our Lady of the Flowers

    The novel is a dark, poetic exploration of the criminal underworld in Paris, focusing on the life and fantasies of a homosexual prostitute and thief. The protagonist, while in prison, creates an elaborate fantasy world populated by outcasts, convicts, and murderers, including a transgender character who becomes his ideal of beauty and purity. The narrative is filled with graphic depictions of sex and violence, and explores themes of transgression, identity, and the transformative power of the imagination.

    The 1282nd Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Thief's Journal

    The book is a fictionalized account of the author's experiences in the criminal underworld of early 20th-century Europe. It is a narrative that delves into the life of a man who embraces his identity as a thief and a homosexual, exploring the intersections of crime, sexuality, and social defiance. The protagonist navigates through various relationships with fellow outcasts and criminals, while also confronting the moral codes of society. The work is known for its poetic and introspective prose, as well as its exploration of themes such as betrayal, freedom, and the search for beauty within the margins of society.

    The 2895th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Querelle

    "Querelle" is a provocative novel set in the seedy port of Brest, where the protagonist, an amoral, bisexual sailor, engages in theft, drug dealing, and murder. The story explores themes of identity, sexuality, and power, presenting a dark and complex character study that challenges societal norms and expectations. The narrative is imbued with homoerotic undertones, reflecting the author's own experiences and perspectives as a gay man.

    The 3813th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Balcony

    "The Balcony" is a play set within a brothel that doubles as a fantasy realm for its clients, who act out their grandiose illusions of power as figures like a bishop, a judge, and a general. As a revolution rages in the streets outside, the establishment's madam and her patrons grapple with the nature of authority and reality, blurring the lines between the authentic and the performative. The play delves into themes of identity, societal roles, and the corrupting influence of power, offering a dark, existential critique of the structures that uphold the facade of societal order and the human desire to escape into illusion.

    The 5968th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Prisoner Of Love

    "Prisoner of Love" is a non-fiction book that blends memoir, history, and philosophical reflection. It chronicles the author's experiences in the late 1960s and early 1970s among Palestinian fedayeen (guerrilla fighters) and later, in the mid-1970s, with the Black Panthers in Jordan. The narrative delves into the daily lives of these revolutionaries, their struggles, and the author's own reflections on issues of love, loyalty, and identity. Through his immersive and poetic prose, the author explores the complexities of political commitment and the human condition, offering a deeply personal yet universally resonant account of solidarity and resistance.

    The 6475th Greatest Book of All Time