Guy de Maupassant was a literary acolyte of Gustave Flaubert. Through Flaubert, de Maupassant befriended the Russian novelist Tourgueneff and Emilie Zola, as well as many of the protagonists of the realistic school. In 1880 he published his first masterpiece, "Boule de Suif," which met with an instant and tremendous success. Flaubert characterized it as "a masterpiece that will remain." With good cause -- de Maupassant's tales, whether they're tales of war and brutality like "Mademoiselle Fifi" and "Boule de Suif" or tales of the human heart like "Yvette," speak to a window in the human soul that few can see and fewer still can speak to.