In the nineteen seventies, Romain Gary, a well-established French author, was at the height of his fame. He had already published twenty-four novels, many of which were best-sellers. He was a decorated war hero, a Chevalier de la légion d’honneur, and a French diplomat at the United Nations. He had also received the “Prix Goncourt” in 1956 for his novel Les Racines du ciel. He led a glamorous lifestyle in the upscale “7e arondissement” at la Rue du Bac in Paris; was married to the famous American film star Jean Seberg; and had many friends in Hollywood. Yet, despite all these outward signs of success, Romain Gary felt underappreciated as a writer. Wanting to reinvent himself, he …

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Tirven-Gadum, Vina. "La Vie devant soi". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 March 2014
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]