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He also frequented a group of artists known as "La Caque". From to he used a total of 17 pen names while writing novels and short stories. He became familiar with the city, its bistros, cheap hotels, bars and restaurants. More important, he also came to know ordinary working-class Parisians. Writing under numerous pseudonyms, he found his creativity beginning to pay financial dividends. Despite his Catholic upbringing, Simenon was not a believer.
Tigy came from a thoroughly non-religious family. However, Simenon's mother insisted on a church wedding, forcing Tigy to become a nominal convert, learning the Catholic Church's catechism. Despite their father's lack of religious convictions, all of Simenon's children would be baptized as Catholics. Marriage to Tigy, however, did not prevent Simenon from having liaisons with numerous other women, perhaps most famously, Josephine Baker.
A reporting assignment had Simenon on a lengthy sea voyage in , giving him a taste for boating. In , he decided to have a boat built, the Ostrogoth. Simenon, Tigy, their cook and housekeeper Henriette Liberge, and their dog Olaf lived on board the Ostrogoth , travelling the French canal system. Henriette Liberge, known as "Boule" literally "Ball," a reference to her slight pudginess was romantically involved with Simenon for the next several decades and would remain a close friend of the family, really part of it. In , the most famous character invented by Simenon, Commissaire Maigret , made his first appearance in a piece in Detective written at Joseph Kessel 's request.
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This first ever Maigret detective story was written while boating in The Netherlands, particularly in and around the Dutch town of Delfzijl. A statue of Maigret in Delfzijl is a perpetual reminder of this. A trip around the world followed in and The house is evoked in Simenon's novel Le Testament Donadieu. Further confusion stems from the fact that he was denounced as a collaborator by local farmers while at the same time the Gestapo suspected him of being Jewish, apparently conflating the names "Simenon" and "Simon".
In any case, Simenon was under investigation at the end of the war because he had negotiated film rights of his books with German studios during the occupation and in was sentenced to a five-year period during which he was forbidden to publish any new work.
This sentence, however, was kept from the public and had little practical effect. Also in the early s, Simenon had a health scare when a local doctor misdiagnosed him with a serious heart condition a reminder of his father , giving him only months to live. It was also at this time that Tigy finally realized the nature of the relationship between her husband and Boule. He and Tigy remained married until , but it was now a marriage in name only.
Despite Tigy's initial protests, Boule remained with the family. The ambiguities of the war years notwithstanding, the city of La Rochelle eventually honored Simenon, naming a quay after him in Simenon was too ill to attend the dedication ceremony. However, in , his son Johnny participated in another event honoring his father.
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Simenon escaped questioning in France and in arrived, along with Tigy and Marc, in North America. He spent several months in Quebec , Canada, north of Montreal , at Domaine L'Esterel Ste-Marguerite du Lac Masson where he lived in a modern-style house and wrote three novels one of which was Three Bedrooms in Manhattan in one of the log cabins LC5, still there today.
Boule, due to visa difficulties, was initially unable to join them. He and his family also went on lengthy car trips, traveling from Maine to Florida and then west as far as California. Simenon lived for a short time on Anna Maria Island near Bradenton , Florida, before renting a house in Nogales, Arizona , where Boule was finally reunited with him. Popularity Popularity Featured Price: Low to High Price: High to Low Avg.
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