Claude Simon (1913–2005) was born in Madagascar and, after his father was killed in the First World War, raised by his mother in southwestern France. He briefly attended Oxford and Cambridge, studied painting under André Lhote in Paris, and traveled to Barcelona during the Spanish Revolution of 1936. When the Second World War broke out, he fought in the French cavalry, was taken prisoner by the Germans shortly after the Battle of Sedan, and later, back in France, joined the Resistance. These wartime experiences informed many of his novels, including The Acacia, The Georgics, and The Flanders Road. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1985.