- Mass Market Paperback: 552 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reissue edition (July 15, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446355569
- ISBN-13: 978-0446355568
- Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 71 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The City of Joy Mass Market Paperback – July 15, 1988
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About the Author
DOMINIQUE LAPIERRE has touched many people through his life and work. His first taste of fame followed the summer when he was 17 years old and left Paris with US$30, worked aboard a ship, disembarked in the United States and managed a 30,000-mile jaunt around North America. This adventure led to Lapierre's first best-selling book, A Dollar for a Thousand Miles. Since then, he has continuously searched for new messages and stories. While completing military service in 1954, Lapierre met an American soldier named Larry Collins. An everlasting friendship-and a valuable partnership-sprang from this meeting. Years later, they would collaborate on some of the century's most memorable books including Is Paris Burning?, which was made into a major motion picture boasting 30 international stars;...Or I'll Dress You in Mourning, O Jerusalem, Freedom at Midnight, The Fifth Horseman, books read by millions of readers in more than 30 languages. Lapierre's solo work have been equally impressive. His book Freely on the Soviet Roads was another best-seller, and he followed with Chessman Told Me, a book about the famous convict Caryl Chessman, who confessed to Lapierre before meeting his death at San Quentin. Lapierre's book, Beyond Love, a reconstruction of the discovery of the AIDS virus, was another world best-seller. In 1981, Lapierre founded a humanitarian association rescuing leper children from the slums of Calcutta, which is supported by half the royalties from his literary successes. Lapierre's time in Calcutta gave him still another best-seller, The City of Joy. This book, which was made into a major motion picture starring Patrick Swayze, has sold over seven million copies. It tells the epic survival story of the population of one of India's poorest slums. It was rewarded with the prestigious U.S. literary Christopher Award. While researching in Calcutta, Lapierre became a close associate of Mother Teresa who gave him the exclusive authorization to write a film on her life and the work of her sisters, the Missionaries of Charity. With Geraldine Chaplin playing the role of Mother Teresa, the film Mother Teresa-In the Name of God's Poor was aired, at prime time, on the Family Channel in the U.S. and several European channels. Lapierre's script has been nominated by the prestigious Humanitas Prize for communicating the best values. Lapierre's last book A Thousand Suns is currently a huge best-seller in Europe. It appeared in March 1999 in the U.S. With its royalties, the author has been able to expand his humanitarian action in India to eradicate tuberculosis in over 1,200 villages of the Ganges delta.
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"The City of Joy" is epic. I love it. It is a great book. Beautifully written. It is hard to describe its totality. So I'm not going to review it. Instead I quote from the author's " Afterward": "That very first monsoon morning I walked into it. I knew that this wretched inhuman slum of Calcutta called the City of Joy was one of the most extraordinary places on our planet. When I left it two years later with some twenty pads full of notes and hundreds of hours of tape, I knew I had the material for the greatest book of my career, an epic of heroism, love, and faith, glorious tribute to the human capacity to beat adversity and survive every possible tragedy."
"This certainly was one of the most extraordinary experiences that a writer could. It changed my life. Living with the heroic inhabitants of the City of Joy completely transformed my sense of priorities and my assessment of the true values of life."
In his Author's Note Dominique Lapierre says that we should not extend his impressions gathered in "The City of Joy" to the whole of India, that they are based on "one small corner of it--a small area of Calcutta called the City of Joy.
The City of Joy is not seen by tourists. Much better that they read Lapierre's fantastically rich empathetic description of Calcutta's sub city. and some of her poorest and most heroic. If you think you understand poverty and hardship, if you have travelled to or want to understand India better read this book.