The Roots of Heaven by Romain Gary
The Roots of Heaven (French: Les Racines du ciel) is a 1956 novel by the Lithuanian-born French writer and WW II aviator, Romain Gary (born Roman Kacew). It received the Prix Goncourt for fiction and was translated into English in 1957.Set in French Equatorial Africa, the book is the story of a crusading environmentalist, Morel, who labors to preserve elephants from extinction, but which narrative is actually a metaphor for the quest for salvation for all humanity. He is assisted in the task by Minna, a nightclub hostess, and Forsythe, a disgraced British military officer seeking redemption. John Huston directed and Darryl Zanuck produced a 1958 Hollywood film with the same title based on the novel. It was actually shot in the malaria-infested Belgian Congo and starred Trevor Howard as Morel, Errol Flynn as Forsythe, and Juliette Gréco as Minna, with a cameo by Orson Welles that was filmed in a Parisian studio.