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French Poet Bosquet Dead at 78

April 8, 1998

PARIS (AP) _ Alain Bosquet, a leading French poet, novelist and critic whose work swept all the country’s literary prizes, has died. He was 78.

Bosquet, who died March 17 of cancer, was born in Odessa, in present-day Ukraine, under the name of Anatole Bisk. His most famous work, a bestselling autobiography called ``A Russian Mother,″ told of his mother’s death and how his family fled the Russian Revolution only to later have to flee Nazi-occupied Belgium.

Bosquet then moved to New York, where he took up U.S. citizenship. He served in the French and Belgian armies during World War II, and then with the Allied Control Council in Berlin, where he met Norma Caplan of Iowa, who he would marry. She is his sole survivor.

Bosquet gave up his American citizenship in the 1950s and settled in Paris, where he would remain for the rest of his life and write about 50 works. He was close friends with the Surrealist writer Andre Breton.

Bosquet was mainly known as a poet, although he also wrote novels and literary criticism for the leading dailies Le Monde and Le Figaro between 1961 and 1984.

Bosquet won every French literary prize during his career, and was also honored by L’Academie Francaise.

His last novel, released in 1997, was titled ``Portrait of an Unhappy Billionaire.″

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