The author Dominique Lapierre, author of “The City of Joy”, has died

Best-selling French author Dominique Lapierre has died at 91 on the Côte d’Azur, his widow announced, Sunday, December 4, in the regional daily Was-morning. “He died of old age”explained Dominique Conchon-Lapierre, sure in this interview to be “in peace and quiet since Dominique is no longer suffering”.

Dominique Lapierre lived in Ramatuelle (Var) near Saint-Tropez for sixty years. Long ago occupied a residence separated by a tennis court from the American Larry Collins (died in 2005), with whom he wrote Is Paris burning? (1964) after three years of investigation and with the help of thousands of witness statements.

This story of the liberation of Paris, August 25, 1944, will be read by 20 million readers in thirty international editions and brought to the cinema in 1966 by René Clément with a multitude of stars such as the Frenchman Jean-Paul Belmondo or the American Kirk Douglas. The Americans Francis Ford Coppola and Gore Vidal have written the script together.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers “O Jerusalem!”, by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins

After Is Paris burning?he continued his fruitful collaboration with Collins: where you will mourn me (1968) about the bullfighter El Cordobes, O Jerusalem (1972), Freedom tonight (1975) on Indian independence, The fifth horseman (1980) a fiction about an atomic bomb and the thriller Is New York burning? (2004). In total, he and his American “pen brother” sold about 50 million copies of their six novels.

A lover of India

Dominique Lapierre was as much a successful writer as a philanthropist who was passionate about India. In the early 1980s, he landed with his wife at Mother Teresa in Calcutta. He begins by giving her $50,000 and says: “It is a drop in the ocean of need. » The nun (who died in 1997 and was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016) replied: “Without them the sea would not be the sea. »

He published in 1985 The city of joy, writes alone about a slum in Calcutta. The novel sold 12 million copies and was the subject of a film directed by Roland Joffé in 1992.

The author subsequently gave several million dollars to programs to fight leprosy, cholera or tuberculosis, to build homes or distribute microcredits.

IN 2005 ensured that its humanitarian work through its copyrights, donations from readers and earnings from lectures held around the world “had made it possible to cure one million tuberculosis patients in twenty-four years, treat 9,000 leprosy children, build 540 drinking water wells and equip four hospital ships on the Ganges Delta in India”.

“Fight against these injustices which you condemn”

Among other initiatives, Dominique Lapierre, who spoke fluent Bengali, had opened several schools in the region. Part of their funding came from the 2006 auction for $825,000 of a dress worn by actress Audrey Hepburn in the film Diamonds on the couch (1961), which he had received as a gift from the fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy.

“It’s not enough to be a bestselling author, you have to fight against these injustices that you condemn in your books”, said this energetic adventurer. In 2008, he received the Padma Blushan medal awarded by the Government of India for his efforts against poverty.

Also read: Dominique Lapierre, humanitarian pen

Dominique Lapierre also co-wrote with Spaniard Javier Moro It was five past midnight in Bhopal (2001) and together with Jean-Pierre Pedrazzini, Once upon a time in the USSR (2005).

Born on 30 July 1931 in Châtelaillon (Charente-Maritime) to a diplomat father and a journalist mother, the author was also a journalist in the 1950s for Paris Match which allowed him to travel around the planet’s hot spots. He had for some years been a resident of an Ehpad (residential facility for dependent elderly) in the city of Sainte-Maxime, according to Was-morning.

The world with AFP

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