Zola was a French author during the late 1800s. He was a fascinating character and was involved with politics, and was also one of the original naturalists, meaning that he tried to place realism in his writing rather than romanticizing the content.
Most of his novels were based on the same collection of ideas. These novels gained the name Les Rougon-Macquart. Zola was a very popular writer in France, and actually made more money than Victor Hugo, but that may have been because Victor Hugo got into political trouble all the time during the French Revolutions.
The only problem that people had with Zola’s stories is that they were realistic, and during the Victorian period realism was shunned. Zola died in 1902.
Some of his most famous works include:
Les Mystères de Marseille
Les Rougon-Macquart series
Au Bonheur des Dames
I don’t know if any of these books have been translated into English.