“Of what crime was Emile Zola convicted? In 1898-99, he was convicted of libel in France for his letter “J’Accuse.” The open letter to the French president defended Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer accused of treason. After the conviction, Zola fled to exile in England for a year, before returning to France as a hero.”
Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.