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Jean M. Auel is one of the most popular authors of prehistoric fantasy ever.

She was born as Jean Marie Untinen in 1936 in Chicago, Illinois. She married Ray Bernard Auel and has five children. She is a member of Mensa.

Her "Earth's Children" series is the incredibly popular account of the life of Ayla, a Cro-Magnon orphan who is raised in a community of Neanderthal people. The series is famous for both the detailed and well-researched description of prehistoric life and (in the later novels) the explicit and frequent description of sexuality.

The novels in the series are:

- "Clan of the Cave Bear" (1980)
- "The Valley of the Horses" (1982)
- "The Mammoth Hunters" (1985)
- "The Plains of Passage" (1990)
- "The Shelter of the Stones" (2002)

Part of the series was filmed as "Clan of the Cave Bear" (1985) with Daryl Hannah playing the part of Ayla.

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