Germaine Brée

Germaine Brée (1907–2001) was a French-American literary scholar, who wrote extensively on Marcel Proust, Andre Gide, Albert Camus, and Jean-Paul Sartre.[1]


Born in Paris, Germaine Brée grew up in the English-speaking Channel Islands. After graduating from the University of Paris,[2] she taught in Algeria from 1932 to 1936. Appointed to teach at Bryn Mawr in 1936,[3] she returned to France to fight for the Free French when World War II broke out. She joined a volunteer ambulance unit, rising to the rank of lieutenant, and was assigned to the intelligence section of the Free French in Algiers. She received a Bronze Star and was named to the Legion of Honor. At this time Brée befriended Albert Camus.[2]

In 1953 Brée was appointed chair of the French department at New York University College of Arts & Science, the second woman to be appointed a department chair at the university.[2] From 1960 until 1973 she was Professor of French at the University of Wisconsin.[3] From 1973 until 1984 she was Kenan professor of humanities at Wake Forest University.[2] In 1975 she served as President of the Modern Language Association.[3]


  • Marcel Proust and Deliverance From Time, 1955
  • Camus, 1959
  • Gide, 1963
  • Camus and Sartre: Crisis and Commitment, 1972


  1. Brée, Germaine, American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present, 2000. Republished online at
  2. Dinitia Smith, Germaine Brée, 93, a Scholar Of Modern French Literature, The New York Times, 26 September 2001.
  3. "Germaine Brée Lectures | Institute for Research in the Humanities". Retrieved 2019-06-09.
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