The Life before Us (

The Life before Us ("Madame Rosa")

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by Romain Gary
     
 

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The Life Before Us is the story of an orphaned Arab boy, Momo, and his devotion to Madame Rosa, a dying, 68-year-old, 220-lb. survivor of Auschwitz and retired "lady of the night."
Momo has been one of the ever-changing ragbag of whores' children at Madame Rosa's boardinghouse in Paris ever since he can remember. But when the check that pays for his keep no

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Overview

The Life Before Us is the story of an orphaned Arab boy, Momo, and his devotion to Madame Rosa, a dying, 68-year-old, 220-lb. survivor of Auschwitz and retired "lady of the night."
Momo has been one of the ever-changing ragbag of whores' children at Madame Rosa's boardinghouse in Paris ever since he can remember. But when the check that pays for his keep no longer arrives and as Madame Rosa becomes too ill to climb the stairs to their apartment, he determines to support her any way he can.
This sensitive, slightly macabre love story between Momo and Madame Rosa has a supporting cast of transvestites, pimps, and witch doctors from Paris's immigrant slum, Belleville. Profoundly moving, The Life Before Us earned France's premier literary prize, the Prix Goncourt.

Editorial Reviews

Roslyn Fuller - Metro Eireann [Dublin]
“Macabre but beautiful, The Life Before Us is one of the all-time greats.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811209618
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
02/28/1986
Series:
Classics Series
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Romain Gary (1914–1980) was born Roman Kacew in Vilnius to a family of Lithuanian Jews. He changed his name when he fled Nazi-occupied France to fight for the British as an aviator. He wrote under several pen names and is the only writer to have received the Prix de Goncourt twice. Gary was also a diplomat and filmmaker, and was married to the American actress Jean Seberg. He died in Paris in 1980 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Ralph Manheim (1907-1992) was an American translator of German and French literature, as well as occasional works from Dutch, Polish and Hungarian. The PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation, a major lifetime achievement award in the field of translation. is named in honor of Manheim and his work.

James Laughlin (1914–1997) founded New Directions in 1936 while still a student at Harvard. He wrote and compiled more than a dozen books of poetry as well as stories and essays; seven volumes of his correspondence with his authors are available from W.W. Norton.

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The Life before Us ("Madame Rosa") 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rarely does one still encounter a masterpiece that shakes his world and makes him add a new shade of emotion to the range he already had within him. This book is such a work of art. Through the story of the love and compation of a little 8 year old Arab orphan boy to the old Jewish prostitute , a survivor of the Holocaust, who raises him, we hear again the delicate music of the human spirit, of tenderness and compation, of delicate ties and daily hardships. Run to the bookstores and get this book. Read it and lend it to all you friends till all the pages are completely worn out, and you will never have spent your time and money more wisely.
McGJ More than 1 year ago
It is a shame that this book and in particular this author is not taught in school in the US. It was not until I traveled abroad that I even came into contact with Romain Gary. He is a truly masterful writer who challenges all with his direct, even brutal portrayal of life and love. His personal life and history stagger the mind. I feel lucky that he has left his mark on the world and a history of his thoughts for all of us to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago