Robert Merle ( August 28 , 1908 - March 28 , 2004 ) was a French novelist .

Born in Tebessa in French occupied Algeria , he moved to France in 1918. Bachelor of philosophy, Doctor of Literature, he has been theacher in high school and professor in literature faculty.

Merle wrote in many styles and won the Prix Goncourt for his novel Week-end à Zuydcoote. Amongst his well known novels we can name : La Mort est mon métier, Malevil, Un animal doué de raison. He has also written a 13 book series of historical novels, Fortune de France. Recreating 16th and 17th century France through the eyes of a fictitious Protestant doctor turned spy, he went so far as to write it in the period's French making it virtually untranslatable.

He died of a heart attack in his house near Paris .