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Ardore. Romain Gary e Jean Seberg, una storia d’amore

ArdorBased on the true story of Romain Gary and Jean Seberg’s life and love, Ardore is a riveting, well-researched, and wonderfully written portrayal of the love that one meets only once in a lifetime and that is destined to survive forever.Romain Gary, Lithuanian Jewish born in Vilna in 1914, writer of several bestselling French novels of the 20th Century, the only man ever to win the Goncourt Prize twice. Gary was also a diplomat, a decorated hero of the French resistance, and a master ofmultiple literary personae, who wanted to live a thousand existences at the same time, each with one of his different personalities.Jean Seberg, the fresh-faced blue-eyed teenager from a Middle-West American small-town, who won the role of Joan of Arc in Otto Preminger’s 1957 film St. Joan out of 80,000 applicants in a nationwide talent search, remembered today as an icon and muse of the Nouvelle Vague. She was also a passionate activist long before she became a troublesome star persecuted by the FBI.Two worlds apart, two different backgrounds, cultures, languages, and twenty-four years separating them, and yet, in 1959, fate brings them together during a dinner in Romain’s house in Los Angeles, where he is serving as French consul. Both Romain and Jean are with their spouses, but the passion immediately burns between them with a flame so dazzling to illuminate their whole life. It takes only one evening for Jean to understand that Romain is the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with. For Romain is like he has always expected her: for him in fact, a true love story is made by two people who discover and “invent” themselves as characters of a novel.Even before knowing Jean, he feels he has already imagined her. Romain is forty-five-years old when he first meets Jean, the star of Jean Luc Godard’s cult classic “Breathless”, who has quickly become the figurehead of the New Wave cinema movement. She is twenty-one, living with one foot in Paris and one foot in Hollywood, and is beautiful, fragile and passionate at once, so full of life, a perfect match for Romain who feels that his life is draining even after his incredible success with The Roots of Heaven. For ten years they are a public item, the most envied and brightest couple who dine with the Kennedys and with Charles de Gaulle; the beautiful actress and the expatriate intellectual who are however more than meet the eyes. They weren’t made for happiness, but together they experienced a love so great and bright to seem unbearable, which marked an era and went beyond betrayals, separations, illness, and disillusionment. A love that went even beyond death. Anna Folli blends fiction and biography as she recounts the incredible love story of Romain Gary and Jean Seberg, exploring the lights and shadows of their lives. Ardore is a real gem of a book, thoroughly researched and broadly appealing, that will take the readers on a real journey through time and space.

Anna Folli is a journalist and a writer. She has collaborated with the main Italian newspapers. For Neri Pozza she published MoranteMoravia. Storia di un amore (2018) and La casa dalle finestre sempre accese (2020).