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“I Used to Ask A Lot of Questions”: One Man’s Search for the Real-Life Little Prince

“My obsession has made me into a thief, a collector, and a bit of a stalker. In third grade, I stole a copy of The Little Prince from my school library; the slip on its back cover reads “Date Due: Aug ’96.” After high school, I started seeking out editions in various languages—Hebrew, Spanish, Arabic—plus biographies of the author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and plays and novels about his life. By the time I reached grad school, I was staying up late into the night, hunched over my laptop, researching, trying to track down the answer to a question that had gripped my imagination and refused to let me go: The real-life boy who inspired the character of the little prince—who was he, and where could I find him?’

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'The Pilot & The Little Prince' (Macmillan Children's)
The Pilot & The Little Prince (Macmillan Children’s)

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