City of Joy mourns Lapierre

  • | Monday | 5th December, 2022

Kolkata, Dec 5 (PTI) The winter sun had just set on Sunday when Asha Bhavan Centre got to know about the demise of celebrated French author Dominique Lapierre, who had donated much of the royalties he received from his 1985 novel "City of Joy" to establish the Howrah NGO and fund several other humanitarian causes in Bengal.Mourning the loss, John Mary Barui, the director of the centre, said a prayer meet was arranged as soon as its members came to know about his death.Asha Bhavan Centre, with the support of Lapierre, set up multiple schools in Bengal over the years, stated Barui.Lapierre would often say that India was his second home, he recalled.The French author, who was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2008, breathed his last on December 4."At 91, he died of old age," his wife Dominique Conchon-Lapierre told French newspaper Var-Matin."City of Joy", his novel on the underprivileged of Kolkata, had received acclaim from far and wide. It was adapted into a film, starring Patrick Swayze, in 1992.In an interview with PTI in 2013, Lapierre had said that the novel was like his "song of love for India, the place where I have been coming very regularly since the last 50 years. It has been an emotional journey for me where I have got a lot of love and support from the people".Lapierre, following the success of his novel, had supported many humanitarian projects in Kolkata, including refuge centres for children affected with polio, schools, NGOs and rehabilitation workshops, Asha Bhavan Centre being one of them."As and when he visited India, Lapierre would always find time to spend with children of the schools and destitute homes that he helped set up with the centre in Kolkata and other districts, including South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, Purba Medinipur, Murshidabad and Birbhum," said Barui.All such schools held a condolence meet for the author on Monday, he added.Born on July 30, 1931, at Chatelaillon in France, Lapierre had begun his career as a journalist.His other well-known works include "Is Paris Burning?" and "Freedom at Midnight", both of which he had co-written with Larry Collins. PTI RG COR RMS RMS

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