Henri Charriere was a Frenchman who was convicted in 1931 of a murder he did not commit. Sentenced to life imprisonment, he spent 12 years in the penal colony of French Guiana. After eight unsuccessful attempts to escape, he finally got away to Venezuela. More than 20 years later, when he was 60, Charriere wrote this story. Told in a spontaneous, straightforward style, PAPILLON became an international best seller and was made into a popular motion picture.