Seventy years ago this spring, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry first published his children's novel, The Little Prince. The French writer, aristocrat and aviator would mysteriously disappear just over a year later... when, in 1944, the plane he was flying on a reconnaissance mission for Allied forces crashed into the sea off the coast of Marseille. The Little Prince is one of the best-selling books ever published and has been translated into more than 250 languages.
File photo dated 1936 of French novelist Antoine de Saint-Exupery with his wife Consuelo in their Paris home. (AP PHOTO)
The book's narrator, a pilot, encounters the little prince when his plane crashes in the Sahara desert. He learns that the blond haired boy has come from an asteroid, and that he has fallen in love with a precious rose.
The book finds its audience among children - but also among grownups who are willing to learn to listen. One of them is a Canadian writer who became fascinated with Saint-Exupéry and his story.
Her new book, Studio Saint-Ex , is a partly fictionalized account of his stay in New York City in the early 40's.
Saint-Exupéry was part of a significant French expatriate community there during the second world war. He wrote most of The Little Prince during that stint. Studio Saint-Ex is Ania Szado's second novel. Her first, Beginning of Was was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. She spoke to guest host Laura Lynch in our Toronto studio.