'Freedom at Midnight' author Lapierre dies at 91 : The Tribune India

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'Freedom at Midnight' author Lapierre dies at 91

'Freedom at Midnight' author Lapierre dies at 91


London, December 5

Dominique Lapierre, the bestselling French author well-known in India for his ode to the city of Kolkata titled “The City of Joy”, has died aged 91, his wife has confirmed.

Lapierre, who was conferred the Padma Bhushan in the 2008 Republic Day honours, founded a humanitarian association with his wife entitled the City of Joy Foundation rescuing children suffering from leprosy from the slums of Kolkata. Dating back to 1981, it was supported by the royalties from his many literary successes.

Passionate about india

  • Dominique Lapierre wrote many books on India such as “Freedom at Midnight” and “City of Joy”
  • Lapierre and Larry Collins wrote several books together, the last being “Is New York Burning?” in 2005

“At 91, he died of old age,” the author’s wife Dominique Conchon-Lapierre was quoted as saying by the French newspaper ‘Var-Matin’ on Sunday.

Lapierre, who had a passion for India, wrote many books on India such as “Freedom at Midnight” and “City of Joy”, which sold millions of copies.

“Freedom at Midnight” is a factual account of the events leading up to Indian Independence.

Born on July 30, 1931 in Chatelaillon, the author was known for his passion for travel. While researching in Kolkata, Calcutta at the time, he became a close associate of Mother Teresa who gave him the authorisation to write a film on her life and the work of her sisters, the Missionaries of Charity.

According to the Speaker Booking Agency, Lapierre’s first taste of fame came when as a 17-year-old he left Paris with USD 30 and worked aboard a ship. Disembarking in the US, he managed a 30,000-mile jaunt around North America.

This adventure led to Lapierre’s first bestselling book, “A Dollar for a Thousand Miles”.

While completing military service in 1954, Lapierre met American soldier Larry Collins.

An everlasting friendship and a valuable partnership sprang from this meeting and the duo went on to collaborate on some of the most memorable books, including “Is Paris Burning?”, “O Jerusalem”, “Freedom at Midnight” and “The Fifth Horseman”. — Agencies


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