A graduate of the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, Brian Nelson was lecteur d’anglais at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, rue d’Ulm, Paris, and taught at Aberystwyth University, Wales, before being appointed Professor of French at Monash in 1985. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and has been editor of the Australian Journal of French Studies (which is based at Monash) since 2002.
He is well known for his critical studies and translations of the novels of Emile Zola. These include The Cambridge Companion to Zola, Zola and the Bourgeoisie and translations (for Oxford World’s Classics) of His Excellency Eugene Rougon, Earth (with Julie Rose), The Fortune of the Rougons, The Belly of Paris, The Kill, Pot Luck and The Ladies’ Paradise. He has also translated Swann in Love by Marcel Proust. He won the 2015 New South Wales Premier’s Translation Prize.
His most recent critical works are Perspectives on Literature and Translation: Creation, Circulation, Reception, co-ed. with Brigid Maher (Routledge, 2013), and The Cambridge Introduction to French Literature (Cambridge, 2015).