“There are some writers who, once discovered, you immediately love, and they stay with you your whole life. And others that you meet later and who, once they have become part of your perfect library, members of your personal pantheon, mean just as much to you. In my case, Saint-Exupéry is one of these. Yes, I had read and enjoyed his great books, Pilote de guerre, Terres des hommes or the unclassifiable Citadelle. And of course Le Petit Prince , discovered when I was almost an adult, which is actually a good thing. It was more the man himself who meant something to me. His trajectory here on earth was so brief, so rich, so intense. But how could I know he would one day be so close to my heart. It all fell into place when I contributed to a major old-style serialisation in Le Figaro. The readers’ enthusiasm and the quantities of mail sent to the editor indicated the considerable interest - passion, even - that this writer-aviator still arouses sixty-five years after his death.
At the time I could not use all the material that had been collated, and has since grown, and I have always wanted to pursue this work in more detail, using a number of hitherto unpublished sources in order to shine a light on the main shadowy areas of “Saint-Ex’s” biography.
Neither biography nor essay, this book is an enquiry about a man who was as tortured as he was endearing, and who became a great writer.”
Born in 1957, Jean-Claude Perrier is a literary journalist. As an editor, he manages the “Domaine indien”-series for the publishing company Cherche-Midi. As a writer, his most notable previous work is Passage de la mère morte, published by Stock in 2008.
N’ayant pu alors utiliser toute la matière rassemblée, qui s’est enrichie depuis, j’ai souhaité poursuivre et approfondir ce travail, en utilisant un grand nombre de sources inédites afin d’éclairer les principales zones d’ombre de la biographie de ‘‘Saint-Ex’’: tels ses rapports complexes avec la politique, surtout durant la guerre, sa carrière cinématographique ratée, ses amours compliquées, sa succession rocambolesque…
Homme paradoxal, aussi célèbre que mystérieux. Par chance, de nouvelles pièces du puzzle surgissent régulièrement de l’ombre. Je les ai donc ici réunies.
Ni biographie ni essai, ce livre se veut une enquête sur un homme aussi tourmenté qu’attachant, devenu un grand écrivain. »