Guy de Maupassant (5 August 1850 – 6 July 1893) is generally considered to be the greatest French short story writer and one of the form's finest exponents. His stories give the impression of their being constructed efficiently and effortlessly, which is indicative of his great talent in the form.
He published Boule de Suif in 1880, considered to be his masterpiece. This was followed by short stories such as Deux Amis, Mother Savage, and Mademoiselle Fifi. His most unsettling horror story, Le Horla (1887), was about madness and suicide. In 1881 he published his first volume of short stories under the title of La Maison Tellier which was reprinted twelve times within two years. He published his first novel, Une Vie , in 1883. His second novel Bel-Ami (1885), had thirty-seven printings in four months. All in all he published about 300 stories, in addition to novels and travel books.
On January 2, in 1892, Maupassant tried to commit suicide by cutting his throat and was committed to a private asylum, where he died on July 6, 1893. He was 42 years old.