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Yves Courrière, real name Gérard Bon (12 October 1935 – 8 May 2012[1]) was a French writer, biographer and journalist.

Yves Courrière
Gérard Bon

12 October 1935
Died8 May 2012(2012-05-08) (aged 76)



As a child Courrière read Albert Londres, Oscar Wilde and became passionate about adventure stories. As a journalist, in 1957 he joined the editorial staff of Radio-Luxembourg and participated in Armand Jammot's 10 Millions d'auditeurs, first radio magazine of the post-war period.

He was then sent to report in 1958 to follow the voyages of General de Gaulle to Africa, and went to countries affected by armed conflicts, civil wars or revolutions, notably in India, the Middle East, and Algeria. He covered the Algerian war and obtained the Albert Londres Prize in 1966 for his articles on Latin America.[2]

From these events, Courrière derived a monumental work that is still being referred to, a landmark in its proximity to the end of the conflict as well as the quality of the sources he obtained. On its release, La Guerre d'Algérie was rewarded by the Prix de l'Académie française [fr] and was published to more than one million copies.

Courrière covered the Eichmann's trial in 1961, the inaugural crossing of the France in 1962, imposing himself as one of the great signatures of journalism. In 1967, he led the first edition of Les Dossiers de l'écran [fr] on the second channel of the ORTF, a program that will host other presenters during its 24 years of broadcasting. He decided from 1968 to stop his activity as reporter to dedicate himself to a career of writer. In particular, he published novels and biographies of emblematic personalities from the first half of the twentieth century such as Joseph Kessel, Jacques Prévert, Roger Vailland or Pierre Lazareff.

In September 1971, he created the weekly magazine Historia Magazine - La Guerre d'Algérie [fr] of which he took the direction, the magazine was published by Éditions Tallandier [fr], the last issue was published in January 1974.

In 1972, along director Philippe Monnier [fr], he realized the first documentary devoted to the war in Algeria. This film is considered the reference on this conflict.[3]

Meeting with Roger VaillandEdit

Courrière met Roger Vailland the day on which the latter received the Prix Goncourt for his novel The Law in December 1957.[4] Roger Vailland was still under the spell of the break with "his communist season" where he felt "like dead" he wrote in his Écrits intimes. To get him out of the depression into which he was falling, his wife Elisabeth took him to his country, Italy, in the Apulia, that hard region, with the crystallized relations he describes so well in his novel.

They saw themselves episodically, too caught up in their activities as great reporters. In the spring of 1961, they met in Jerusalem to cover the Eichmann's trial. There, Vailland introduced him to his friend Joseph Kessel whom he had known before the war at Paris-Soir and who became for Courrière an exemplary man of which he will write a very documented biography like that which he devoted to Roger Vailland in 1991.


  • La Guerre d'Algérie (4 volumes published by Fayard and reissued in two volumes in 2001: La guerre d'Algérie 1957–1962, ISBN 978-2213611181 and La guerre d'Algérie 1954-1957)
    • 1968: Les Fils de la Toussaint
    • 1969: Le Temps des léopards
    • 1970: L'Heure des colonels
    • 1971: Les Feux du désespoir
  • 1971–1974 Historia Magazine - La Guerre d'Algérie , Éditions Tallandier, (112 issues)
  • 1974: Le Roman des hauts de Saint-Jean [fr], Fayard
  • 1974: L'Homme qui court, Fayard
  • 1979: Normandie Niemen, Presses de la Cité, ISBN 978-2258005907
  • 1985: Joseph Kessel ou Sur la piste du lion, Plon ISBN 978-2259012997
  • 1987: Les Excès de la passion, Plon
  • 1987: Le Démon de l'aventure, Plon
  • 1991: Roger Vailland, ou un libertin au regard froid [fr], Plon
  • 1995: Pierre Lazareff ou le vagabond de l'actualité, Éditions Gallimard,ISBN 978-2070730308
  • 1999: Les Aubarèdes, roman, Presses de la Cité, ISBN 978-2258044708
  • 2000: Jacques Prévert. En vérité, Gallimard, ISBN 978-2070740550
  • 2003: Éclats de vie, mémoires, éditions Fayard, ISBN 978-2213615387


  1. ^ « Décès d'Yves Courrière, journaliste, biographe et écrivain » sur L', 9 May 2012. Accessdate 27 January 2017
  2. ^ "For a long time I was the youngest. The youngest editor, the youngest reporter, the youngest reporter for the Albert-Londres Prize, the youngest writer to receive the Chateaubriand Prize for his entire work". Yves Courrière, Éclats de vie 2003.
  3. ^ After being the youngest winner of the Albert-Londres Prize for his work in Algeria, Yves Courrière made with Philippe Monnier the first great documentary film about the war in Algeria.
  4. ^ Article by Yves Courrière published in the magazine Le Croquant December 1987 intitled Rencontres avec Roger Vailland

External linksEdit