For anyone who grew up returning to The Little Prince time and again, - that all-ages allegory, written and illustrated -with now universally recognized figures-, by Antoine de Saint Exupery, and first published in 1943, - this is a must read.
SaintEx was a French pilot and writer, around whose figure there remains some mystery, including the fact that he never returned from his final flight, not long after the story of the “little man” appeared. Did he, like his little prince, somehow return to be among the stars?
Today, French child psychologist Pierre Lassus analyses SaintEx’s life through his only book for children. The words of the “little man” himself resounded in my mind when I came to the end: “The secret of the desert is that, somewhere, it hides a well.”
The secret of a life is that, everywhere, it hides stories. Merci, Monsieur Lassus, for uncovering hidden tales and wisdom in our tender petit prince. — From Claudia's Picks
Finally, one of the most of the most beloved books every published--explained. The Little Prince is revered around the world. Two hundred million copies have been sold in 270 languages; it is the fourth best-selling book of all time. Part of its allure is that is seems incredibly wise but so simple it is read as a work for children. Yet its meaning is elusive, and its place amid the writings of an adventurer and war hero acclaimed for dramatic bestsellers like Night Flight and Flight to Arras is mysterious. In this elegant, carefully argued book, Pierre Lassus reexamines the story of The Little Prince against the facts of Saint-Exupery's own extraordinary life, from his cherished but fatherless childhood in aristocratic poverty to his career as a pioneering pilot. His plane had broken down in the desert before. He had adopted a fox, when posted at the Spanish fort of Cape Juby, in southern Morocco. He had known the world of business before becoming pilot; he had also known unrequited love. Like his little protagonist's, his body was never found after his plane disappeared in World War II. He was working on his spiritual autobiography when he died, and there too, Lassus finds resonances and keys to the understated spirituality of his last great book.
About the Author
Pierre Lassus is a child psychologist and is the author of a number of works about the consequences of violence visited on children as well as a biography of Albert Schweitzer. He is the director of the Institute for Victimology and honorary director general of the French Union for the Rescue of Children. He lives in Paris, France. Gretchen Schmid is a translator and writer and works at Penguin Books.