Saint-Exupéry: A Biography

Saint-Exupéry: A Biography

by Stacy Schiff
     
 

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The definitive biography of the most translated french writer of all time.

When he vanished in 1944—disappearing into thin air as the Little Prince does in his best-loved work—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was already a legend. His name is synonymous with the golden age of aviation, when pilots flew through desert sandstorms in open cockpits and without

Overview

The definitive biography of the most translated french writer of all time.

When he vanished in 1944—disappearing into thin air as the Little Prince does in his best-loved work—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was already a legend. His name is synonymous with the golden age of aviation, when pilots flew through desert sandstorms in open cockpits and without instruments, fired at by rebellious tribes. The author of many of the classics of aviation literature, he also wrote the children's classic The Little Prince, the most widely translated book in the French language. Stacy Schiff, with an infectious fascination for her subject, has brought Saint-Exupéry to life in this definitive, humane, and hugely entertaining biography.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Born in 1900 into one of France's oldest families, impoverished aristocrat Antoine de Saint-Exupry became a pioneer aviator, braving the Pyrenees, Patagonia and the Sahara, as well as serving as a mail pilot in the 1920s and '30s, and then turning his adventures into lyrical novels. The Little Prince, his children's fable for all ages, secured his fame. This captivating biography deftly separates the man from the myth, revealing an awkward, petulant idealist, an elitist who advocated oligarchy, a pilot known for his mishaps and absentmindedness, and an unhappily married adventurer whose abusive wife eventually reached an uneasy accommodation with his mistress. Fleeing German-occupied France for New York City in 1940, Saint-Exupry felt he was shirking his duty as a Frenchman; he attained the noble death he sought in 1944, missing in action on a reconnaissance flight over southern France. Schiff is a former senior editor at Simon & Schuster. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Antoine de Saint-Exupry, heroic in flight, inept in everyday life, comes alive in this well-documented portrait by first-time author Schiff. Saint-Exupry spent his happiest days flying the mails for Aropostale during the 1920s. When he arrived in Algiers in 1943 after a painful stay in New York during the early days of World War II, where he completed The Little Prince, he believed that he was finished. He had refused to support either De Gaulle and the Free French or the Ptain Vichy government and had expressed the desire to die for his country. In 1944 he died mysteriously in the cockpit of a wartime reconnaissance plane while flying a mission over Italy. Like his Little Prince, he had seen only 44 sunsets. A stimulating biography recommended to everyone with an interest in early aviation and Saint-Exupry.-Bob Ivey, Memphis State Univ., Tenn.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306807404
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
03/21/1997
Pages:
558
Product dimensions:
6.02(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.15(d)

What People are saying about this

Phillip Lopate
Exemplary. What distinguishes this biography from so many others is the elegance, witty intelligence, and sure line-by-line pleasure of the writing.

Meet the Author

Stacy Schiff is the author of A Great Improvisation and Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), which won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for biography. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was a Director's Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. Schiff lives in New York City.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
October 26, 1961
Place of Birth:
Adams, Massachusetts
Education:
B.A., Williams College, 1982
Website:
http://stacyschiff.com/

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