The Life Before Us
Fiction by Romain Gary
Translated from the French by Ralph Manheim
Momo has been one of the ever-changing ragbag of whores’ children at Madame Rosa’s boarding house in Paris ever since he can remember. But when the check that pays for his keep no longer arrives and as Madame Rosa becomes too ill to climb the stairs to their apartment, he determines to support her any way he can. This sensitive, slightly macabre love story between Momo and Madame Rosa has a supporting cast of transvestites, pimps, and witch doctors from Paris’s immigrant slum, Belleville. Profoundly moving, The Life Before Us won France’s premier literary prize, the Prix Goncourt.