Alain de Botton has published five non-fiction books: The Architecture of Happiness, Status Anxiety, The Art of Travel, How Proust Can Change Your Life, and The Consolations of Philosophy, three of which were made into TV documentaries. He has also published three novels: Essays in Love, The Romantic Movement, and Kiss and Tell. In February 2003, de Botton was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres, one of France’s highest artistic honours. In November of the same year, he was awarded the Prix Européen de l’Essai Charles Veillon. In 2004, Status Anxiety was awarded the prize for the Economics Book of the Year by the Financial Times , Germany. Cambridge-educated, de Botton is a frequent contributor to numerous newspapers, journals, and magazines.
De Botton has described his relationship with his father as difficult, stating: "When I sold my first bestseller (and a million dollars was peanuts for my father) he was not impressed and wondered what I was going to do with myself."  When his father died, his family was left a large trust fund ,  although de Botton says his income is derived solely from his own activities (book sales, speaking engagements, business consulting, The School of Life).    Alain's stepmother Janet de Botton is a prominent patron of the arts and competition bridge player.  De Botton lives in London with his wife, Charlotte, and their two children.