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Biography of The Little Prince author due in July

books Updated: Jan 15, 2014 16:19 IST

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Antoine de Saint-Exupéry disappeared 70 years ago, and a children's biography of The Little Prince author is to mark the occasion with a publication date of July 3.

Having written and illustrated the children's classic in 1942, Saint-Exupéry re-joined the French air force in 1943 as a reconnaissance pilot.

But the author took off on his final flight on July 31, 1944, never to return; his ID bracelet was discovered in 1998 by a Marseille fisherman, and then in 2000 a diver found the debris from his aircraft on the coastal ocean floor.

Saint-Exupéry was already a prize-winning author by the time The Little Prince was published, but that story became France's most translated export, selling half a million UK copies over the last 10 years alone, according to Adam Freudenheim, MD of biography publisher Pushkin.

Like The Little Prince before it, The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is written and illustrated by one person, Peter Sis; the Czech won the Hans Christian Andersen Award for illustration in 2012.

As part of a previously arranged event, The Little Prince: A New York Story at the city's Morgan Library & Museum, Sis will appear on April 22 to discuss the background of the new book.