Émile Zola (1840 – 1902) was a French writer, journalist, critic, and political activist. He is considered the father of the literary school of naturalism. Zola redefined Naturalism as "Nature seen through a temperament". He was also noted for his intervention in the Dreyfus Affair through his famous open letter, “J’accuse.” 
More than half of Zola's novels were part of a set of 20 books collectively known as Les Rougon-Macquart. 
Main novels: First major novel, Thérèse Raquin (1867), L'Assommoir (1877), about the suffering of the Parisian working-class, Nana (1880), dealing with prostitution, and Germinal (1885), depicting the mining industry.