BizStore » Books » The Tale of the Rose: The Love Story Behind The Little Prince
Item Dimensions: Array
Label: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Manufacturer: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 308
Publication Date: 2003-01-14
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Release Date: 2003-01-14
Studio: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Consuelo and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry met in Buenos Aires in 1930—she a seductive young widow, he a brave pioneer of early aviation, decorated for his acts of heroism in the deserts of North Africa. He was large in his passions, a fierce loner with a childlike appetite for danger. She was frail and voluble, exotic and capricious. Within hours of their first encounter, he knew he would have her as his wife.
Their love affair and marriage would take them from Buenos Aires to Paris to Casablanca to New York. It would take them through periods of betrayal and infidelity, pain and intense passion, devastating abandonment and tender, poetic love. The Tale of the Rose is the story of a man of extravagant dreams and of the woman who was his muse, the inspiration for the Little Prince’s beloved rose—unique in all the world—whom he could not live with and could not live without.
Reading his wife's lyrical yet frank memoir of their turbulent marriage, it's easy to see why Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944) depicted her as the prince's beloved, difficult Rose in his most famous book, The Little Prince. The French writer's feelings for his Salvadoran wife were passionate from the moment they met in Buenos Aires. On that very first day in 1930, he cajoled her aboard his airplane, even though she was afraid of flying, and extorted a kiss by cutting the engine and threatening to drown them both in the waters below. He proposed marriage just a few days later, and the revolution roiling Argentina was hardly more unsettling for Consuelo than the emotions aroused by her swashbuckling aviator-author. "For you I am nothing but a dream," she explains. "But I want you to know I am not an object or a doll; I don't change faces on command." Blending the everyday with the abstract in a style reminiscent of The Little Prince's elliptical prose, Consuelo limns a man who loved her yet couldn't resist the adulation of other women or sit still long enough to build a life together. "You're the kind of man who is constantly in need of struggle, conquest," she tells him. "Leave, then. Leave." So off he went, on flights that often ended in crashes while she waited anxiously (but seldom patiently)--until he vanished for good during a wartime reconnaissance mission in 1944. Written a year later but unpublished until 2000, when it became a bestseller in France, Consuelo's portrait reveals a Saint-Exupéry far more human than the tragic, mythical hero constructed by his worshipful countrymen. --Wendy Smith
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