The Life Before Us: ("Madame Rosa")

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New Directions Publishing, 1986 - Fiction - 191 pages
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.
 

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Contents

Kafka and His Precursors
199
A New Refutation of Time
217
Inferno I 32
237
Borges and I
246
Chronology
253
Copyright

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About the author (1986)

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 RAF pilot. He wrote under several pen names and is the only writer to have received the Prix Goncourt twice. A diplomat and filmmaker, Gary 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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