Daniel Pennac (real name Daniel Pennacchioni, born 1 December 1944 in Casablanca, Morocco) is a French writer. He received the Prix Renaudot in 2007 for his essay Chagrin d'école.
Daniel Pennacchioni is the fourth and last son of a Corsican and Provençal family. His father is a polytechnicien who became an officer of the colonial army, reaching the rank of general at retirement and his mother, a housewife, is a self-taught reader. He spent his childhood at the discretion of the fathers garrisons in Africa (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Algeria, Equatorial Africa), Southeast Asia (Indochina) and France (including La Colle-sur-Loup). It's his father's poetry buff that will give him the taste for books that he will quickly devour in the family library or at school
After studying in Nice he became a teacher. He began to write for children and then wrote his book series “La Saga Malaussène”, that tells the story of Benjamin Malaussène, a scapegoat, and his family in Belleville, Paris. In a 1997 piece for Le Monde, Pennac stated that Malaussène's youngest brother, Le Petit, was the son of Jerome Charyn's New York detective Isaac Sidel.
His writing style can be humorous and imaginative like in “La Saga Malaussène”, but he can also write “Comme un roman”, a pedagogic essay. His Comic Débauche, written jointly with Jacques Tardi, treats the topic of unemployment, revealing his social preoccupations.
In 1990 Pennac won the "Prix du Livre Inter" for La petite marchande de prose. His 1984 novel L'œil du loup was translated into English as Eye of the Wolf by Sarah Adams – later known as Sarah Ardizzone – and published by Walker Books in 2002; Adams won the biennial British Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation in 2005 for that work. In 2002 he won the Grinzane Cavour Prize. In 2007 Pennac won the Prix Renaudot for Chagrin d'école. He won the "Grand Prix Metropolis bleu" in 2008 for his complete work. In 2013 he received an honorary degree in pedagogy from the University of Bologna.