Alain-Fournier was born Henri Alban Fournier, on October 3, 1886, in La Chapelle-d'Angillon, France. His untimely death in action during World War I came just before his twenty-eighth birthday, barely one year after the publication of his first and only novel, the minor classic, Le Grand Meaulnes. Published in English translation in 1928 as The Wanderer, and in a new translation in 1959 as The Lost Domain, this single testament to Fournier's artistic promise influenced writers between the World Wars and still inspires admiration. Suffused with elements of symbolism and surrealism, Le Grand Meaulnes recreates with dreamlike richness the lost "land without a name" of Alain-Fournier's happy childhood in the French countryside. Alain-Fournier's novel was the result of a series of disappointments. He was haunted for years by an obsession for a beautiful blonde woman whom he barely knew. He failed to pass the entrance examination to the prestigious Ecole Normale and a licence examination in English. While in a stormy relationship with a new love in 1910, Le Grand Meaulnes began to take form. In the summer of 1913 Le Grand Meaulnes was serialized in La Nouvelle Revue Francaise, edited by Jacques Riviere, Alain-Fournier's life-long friend and brother-in-law. Le Grand Meaulnes was published in book form in October 1913, nearly winning the Goncourt Prize. Called up to serve with his former regiment at the outbreak of World War I, Alain-Fournier was killed on September 22, 1914, in battle near Vaux-les-Palameix, France. His body was not recovered.