Emile Zola: Germinal
realism author. Emile Zola's novel Germinal was written in 1884, but took place 20 years earlier. Although Zola has spent a very short amount of time in the North, his novel has moved many generations of readers with its graphic portrayals of the miseries of the wretched lives of miners and their families. In english, the book has sold over 10,000 copies a year and the French counted it as one of their best-selling books (theotherside). One critic said, "Some critics were shocked at his brutish portrayal of the miners, and deplored their morals - they "deserved what they got" (theotherside). Some critics; however, say, "it was an 'old story' - things were no longer so bad" (theotherside).