Roman Kacew overcame an impoverished boyhood to become a
French Resistance hero and win the Goncourt Prize under the pseudonym
of Romain Gary.
He was born May 8, 1914 in Vilna and he never knew his father. His mother, Nina, is a little actress, but will be a great mother, her best role. After a long migration, they arrived in France and settled in Nice in 1927, in a cosmopolitan hotel "Mermonts" located on the boulevard Francois Grosso n°7. Roman lives with his mother, appointed manager by the owner.
Finally free from revolutions and poverty, he is installed as a prince, in the cult of France. Shy, even wild, Roman grew up in the shadow of his jewish mother. Romain Gary will tell one day in the autobiographical novel « The Promise of Dawn », the atmosphere in Nice with temptations and miseries, and especially the possessive love of a mother. He studied in Nice, and after in the Aix-en-Provence and Paris Faculties of Law.
He became aviator and joined the Free French air forces. In 1944, he published his first novel in London and married the journalist Lesley Blanch. Later, he is appointed Secretary of Embassy Bulgaria, first secretary of embassy in Switzerland, General Consul of France in Los Angeles … a meteoric career. In 1956, he won the Goncourt Prize for "The Roots of Heaven.". Participating at the Hollywood life, he met Jean Seberg who gave him a son.
After a busy life, he choosed to publish under a pseudonym : the Ajar era marked both the apotheosis of a genius storyteller and the critical fracture in which we can find motives of his suicide in 1980.