Jean Genet was a controversial author who had many of his books banned for their eroticism and their frankness in dealing with the seamy side of life. Genet knew that world well. His mother abandoned him in infancy and he was raised by peasants. A hell-raiser as a youth, he spent four years in a reform school and after his release lived as a hobo during the '20s and '30s. Several of his books and plays were adapted into films including The Balcony, Mademoiselle, and Querelle. Genet penned and directed one short film Un Chant D'Amour. It too was banned.