Read Promise at Dawn (Revived Modern Classic) by Romain Gary Free Online
Book Title: Promise at Dawn (Revived Modern Classic)|
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Reader ratings: 5.3
The author of the book: Romain Gary
Edition: New Directions
Date of issue: April 17th 1987
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 847 KB
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A romantic, thrilling memoir that has become a French classic.
Promise at Dawn by Romain Gary (1914-80), a classic of modern French literature, has all the earmarks of a richly romantic novel. It is all the more thrilling, therefore, to read it and know that this is not fiction but a real-life story. As a young child, Romain Gary’s mother told him that a day would come when he would have to challenge and conquer the evil demons of submission and defeat. After all, he was to be a French military hero, ambassador, noted writer, and ladies’ man . . . . Thus anticipating battle, by the time of his death he had won the Cross of the Liberation, the Croix de Guerre, the Legion of Honor, the Prix Goncourt (the last rather a comedown, as his mother had mentioned the Nobel Prize); and he had been the French consul-general in Los Angeles. Promise at Dawn begins as the story of a mother’s sacrifice. Alone and poor she fights fiercely to give her son the very best. Gary chronicles his childhood with her in Russia, Poland, and on the French Riveria. And he recounts his adventurous life as a young man fighting for France in World War II. But above all he tells the story of the love for his mother that was his very life, their secret and private planet, their wonderland "born out of a mother’s murmur into a child’s ear, a promise whispered at dawn of future triumphs and greatness, of justice and love."
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Read information about the authorRomain Gary was a Jewish-French novelist, film director, World War II aviator and diplomat. He also wrote under the pen name Émile Ajar.
Born Roman Kacew (Yiddish: קצב, Russian: Кацев), Romain Gary grew up in Vilnius to a family of Lithuanian Jews. He changed his name to Romain Gary when he escaped occupied France to fight with Great Britain against Germany in WWII. His father, Arieh-Leib Kacew, abandoned his family in 1925 and remarried. From this time Gary was raised by his mother, Nina Owczinski. When he was fourteen, he and his mother moved to Nice, France. In his books and interviews, he presented many different versions of his father's origin, parents, occupation and childhood.
He later studied law, first in Aix-en-Provence and then in Paris. He learned to pilot an aircraft in the French Air Force in Salon-de-Provence and in Avord Air Base, near Bourges. Following the Nazi occupation of France in World War II, he fled to England and under Charles de Gaulle served with the Free French Forces in Europe and North Africa. As a pilot, he took part in over 25 successful offensives logging over 65 hours of air time.
He was greatly decorated for his bravery in the war, receiving many medals and honours.
After the war, he worked in the French diplomatic service and in 1945 published his first novel. He would become one of France's most popular and prolific writers, authoring more than thirty novels, essays and memoirs, some of which he wrote under the pseudonym of Émile Ajar. He also wrote one novel under the pseudonym of Fosco Sinibaldi and another as Shatan Bogat.
In 1952, he became secretary of the French Delegation to the United Nations in New York, and later in London (in 1955).
In 1956, he became Consul General of France in Los Angeles.
He is the only person to win the Prix Goncourt twice. This prize for French language literature is awarded only once to an author. Gary, who had already received the prize in 1956 for Les racines du ciel, published La vie devant soi under the pseudonym of Émile Ajar in 1975. The Académie Goncourt awarded the prize to the author of this book without knowing his real identity. A period of literary intrigue followed. Gary's little cousin Paul Pavlowitch posed as the author for a time. Gary later revealed the truth in his posthumous book Vie et mort d'Émile Ajar.
Gary's first wife was the British writer, journalist, and Vogue editor Lesley Blanch (author of The Wilder Shores of Love). They married in 1944 and divorced in 1961. From 1962 to 1970, Gary was married to the American actress Jean Seberg, with whom he had a son, Alexandre Diego Gary.
He also co-wrote the screenplay for the motion picture, The Longest Day and co-wrote and directed the 1971 film Kill!, starring his now ex-wife Seberg.
Suffering from depression after Seberg's 1979 suicide, Gary died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on December 2, 1980 in Paris, France though he left a note which said specifically that his death had no relation with Seberg's suicide.
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