The Return of Romain Gary, Novelist, Diplomat, War Hero, Prankster

With the long-overdue translation into English of his final book, neglect of the Vilna-born Jewish author is starting to lift.


Observation
Aug. 15 2018
About the author

Diane Cole is the author of the memoir After Great Pain: A New Life Emerges. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street JournalNPR online, and elsewhere, and she serves as the books columnist for Psychotherapy Networker.


In 1980, sensational headlines announced the suicide of Romain Gary, the best-selling and critically acclaimed French novelist, diplomat, war hero, literary prankster, and jet-set adventurer. In the decades that followed, his worldwide reputation dwindled to a bare flicker of recognition, and his books fell out of print. Lost as well was the memory of their Vilna-born Jewish author, an immigrant to France who would bear witness to Hitler’s war against the Jews from the cockpit of the aircraft bombers he flew for the Free French forces of Charles de Gaulle.

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More about: Arts & Culture, History & Ideas, Holocaust, Literature, Romain Gary, World War II