Read Wind, Sand, and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Free Online
Book Title: Wind, Sand, and Stars|
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Reader ratings: 6.6
The author of the book: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Edition: Penguin Classics
Date of issue: May 25th 2000
ISBN 13: 9780141183190
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.18 MB
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Both a gripping tale of adventure and a poetic meditation, Antoine de Saint Exupéry's Wind, Sand and Stars is the lyrical autobiography of an aviation pioneer, from the author of The Little Prince. This Penguin Modern Classics edition is translated from the French with an introduction by William Rees.
In 1926 de Saint-Exupéry began flying for the pioneering airline Latécoère - later known as Aéropostale - opening up the first mail routes across the Sahara and the Andes. Wind, Sand and Stars is drawn from this experience. Interweaving encounters with nomadic Arabs and other adventures into a richly textured autobiographical narrative, it has its climax in the extraordinary story of Saint-Exupéry's crash in the Libyan Desert in 1936, and his miraculous survival. 'Self-discovery comes when a man measures himself against an obstacle,' writes Saint-Exupéry. This book explores the transcendent perceptions that arise when life is tested to its limits.
Writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-44), was born in Lyon, France. His first two books, Southern Mail and Night Flight, are distinguished by a poetic evocation of the romance and discipline of flying. Later works, including Wind, Sand and Stars and Flight to Arras, stress his humanistic philosophy. Saint-Exupéry's popular children's book The Little Prince is also read by adults for its allegorical meaning. Saint-Exupéry's plane disappeared during a mission in World War II.
If you enjoyed Wind, Sand and Stars, you might like Woody Guthrie's Bound for Glory, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
'A Conrad of the air ... Like Conrad, Saint-Exupéry is a poet of action'
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Read information about the authorAntoine de Saint-Exupéry was born in Lyons on June 29, 1900. He flew for the first time at the age of twelve, at the Ambérieu airfield, and it was then that he became determined to be a pilot. He kept that ambition even after moving to a school in Switzerland and while spending summer vacations at the family's château at Saint-Maurice-de-Rémens, in eastern France. (The house at Saint-Maurice appears again and again in Saint-Exupéry's writing.)
Later, in Paris, he failed the entrance exams for the French naval academy and, instead, enrolled at the prestigious art school l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1921 Saint-Exupéry began serving in the military, and was stationed in Strasbourg. There he learned to be a pilot, and his career path was forever settled.
After leaving the service, in 1923, Saint-Exupéry worked in several professions, but in 1926 he went back to flying and signed on as a pilot for Aéropostale, a private airline that flew mail from Toulouse, France, to Dakar, Senegal. In 1927 Saint-Exupéry accepted the position of airfield chief for Cape Juby, in southern Morocco, and began writing his first book, a memoir called Southern Mail, which was published in 1929. He then moved briefly to Buenos Aires to oversee the establishment of an Argentinean mail service; when he returned to Paris in 1931, he published Night Flight, which won instant success and the prestigious Prix Femina.
Always daring, Saint-Exupéry tried in 1935 to break the speed record for flying from Paris to Saigon. Unfortunately, his plane crashed in the Libyan desert, and he and his copilot had to trudge through the sand for three days to find help. In 1938 he was seriously injured in a second plane crash, this time as he tried to fly between New York City and Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. The crash resulted in a long convalescence in New York.
Saint-Exupéry's next novel, Wind, Sand and Stars, was published in 1939. A great success, the book won the Académie Française's Grand Prix du Roman (Grand Prize for Novel Writing) and the National Book Award in the United States. At the beginning of the Second World War, Saint-Exupéry flew reconnaissance missions for France, but he went to New York to ask the United States for help when the Germans occupied his country. He drew on his wartime experiences to write Flight to Arras and Letter to a Hostage, both published in 1942. His classic The Little Prince appeared in 1943. Later in 1943 Saint-Exupéry rejoined his French air squadron in northern Africa. Despite being forbidden to fly (he was still suffering physically from his earlier plane crashes), Saint-Exupéry insisted on being given a mission. On July 31, 1944, he set out from Borgo, Corsica, to overfly occupied France. He never returned.
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