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1910 December 19 Jean Genet is born in Paris.
1911 July 28 His mother abandons him, leaving him a ward of the state.
1922 His foster mother dies and he begins committing petty crimes, primarily theft.
1925 He is placed in the Mettray reformatory for boys.
1929 March 1 In order to escape the reformatory, Genet joins the French Foreign Legion.
1933 He travels across Europe, living as a beggar, thief, and prostitute.
1934 He signs up for another tour of duty in the army.
1936 He deserts the army.
1937 He returns to Paris and spends time in and out of prison for a variety of crimes, primarily theft.
1938 January He is tried as a deserter and placed in a military prison. He will spend the next several years in and out of prison on a variety of charges, primarily theft. During these periods of imprisonment, Genet begins to write.
1944 His first novel, Our Lady of the Flowers, is published.
1946 The MIracle of the Rose, a semi-autobiographical novel, is published.
1947 Another novel, Querelle de Brest, is published.
The Maids is produced by Louis Jouvet in Paris.
1948 Genet is convicted of burglary and, because he is a repeat offender, is sentenced to life imprisonment. Several prominent writers, including Sartre, Gide, and Cocteau petition for his release, arguing that Genet's literary career is far too important to let him waste away in prison. Their request is eventually granted and his sentence is reduced to three months.
1949 Genet's autobiography, A Thief's Journal, is published.
Deathwatch is produced under the direction of Genet and Marchat.
Another novel, Funeral Rites, is published.
1950 Genet directs Un Chant d'Amour, a 26 minute black and white film depicting the fantasies of a gay male prisoner and his prison warden.
1951 His work is banned in the United States.
1956 The Balcony is published.
1957 April 22 The Balcony premieres at the Arts Theatre Club in London. Genet is unhappy with the production because he finds it too tasteful and realistic.
1959 October 28 The Blacks premieres at the Théatre de Lutèce in Paris.
1960 March 3 The Balcony is produced at the Circle in the Square Theater in New York City. It enjoys a run of 672 performances and wins an Obie Award.
May The Balcony makes its French premiere at the Théâtre du Gymnase in Paris under the direction of Peter Brook.
1961 Genet writes The Screens, but it is considered too subversive to be produced.
1966 The Screens is produced at the Théâtre de l'Odéon.
1970 The Black Panthers invite Genet to the United States. He accepts their invitation and gives several lectures during a three-month stay. He attends the trial of their leader, Huey Newton.
1986 April 15 Jean Genet dies in Paris at the age of 75.
His final novel, The Prisoner of Love, is published.
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