Jean M. Auel life and biography

Jean M. Auel picture, image, poster

Jean M. Auel biography

Date of birth : 1936-02-18
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 2011-05-18
Credited as : Writer, novelist, The Clan of the Cave Bear

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Jean M. Auel is an American writer. She is best known for her Earth's Children books, a series of novels set in prehistoric Europe that explores interactions of Cro-Magnon people with Neanderthals. As of 2010 her books have sold over 45 million copies worldwide.

Born Jean Marie Untinen on February 18, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois, she was the second of five children of Neil Solomon Untinen, a housepainter, and Martha Wirtanen.

In 1977, Auel began extensive library research of the Ice Age for her first book. She joined a survival class to learn how to construct an ice cave, and learned primitive methods of making fire, tanning leather, and knapping stone from the aboriginal skills expert Jim Riggs.

The Clan of the Cave Bear was nominated for numerous literary awards, including an American Booksellers Association nomination for best first novel. It was also later adapted into a screenplay for the film of the same name.

After the sales success of her first book, Auel has been able to travel to the sites of prehistoric ruins and relics, and also to meet many of the experts with whom she had been corresponding. Her research has taken her across Europe from France to Ukraine, including most of what Marija Gimbutas called Old Europe. In 1986 she attended and co-sponsored a conference on modern human origins at the School of American Research, Santa Fe. She has developed a close friendship with Dr. Jean Clottes of France who was responsible for, among many other things, the exploration of the Cosquer Cave discovered in 1985 and the Chauvet Cave discovered in 1994.

In October 2008, Auel was named an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture and Communication.

Author of books:

The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980, novel)
The Valley of Horses (1982, novel)
The Mammoth Hunters (1985, novel)
The Plains of Passage (1990, novel)
The Shelters of Stone (2002, novel)

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