Romain Gary (rōmăN´ gĕrē´), 1914–80, French novelist, b. Vilna, of Russian parentage. Gary's original name was Romain Kacev. In France after 1928, he fought in World War II and later entered the diplomatic service. He won acclaim for L'Éducation européenne (1945, tr. 1960), concerning the pain of war. The Roots of Heaven (1956, tr. 1958) reflects his passion for wildlife conservation. His other works include The Talent Scout (1960, tr. 1961), the autobiographical Promise at Dawn (1960, tr. 1961), and White Dog (1970, tr. 1972). In his last novel, King Solomon (1980, tr. 1983), written under the pseudonym Emile Agar, the despair evident in much of his work is unleavened by his usual wit. A year after the suicide of his actress wife, Jean Seberg, he himself committed suicide.
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