- For the film see Madame Rosa
The Life Before Us (1975; French: La vie devant soi) is a novel by French author Romain Gary who wrote it under the pseudonym of "Emile Ajar". It was originally published in English as Momo then re-published in 1986 as The Life Before Us. It won the Prix Goncourt prize the same year it was published.
Momo, a Muslim orphan boy, lives under the care of an old Jewish woman named Madame Rosa. The young boy tells the story of his life in the orphanage and of his relationship with Madame Rosa as she becomes increasingly sick.
The novel was adapted for cinema by Moshé Mizrahi as Madame Rosa in 1977 and for television by Myriam Boyer in 2010, who also plays Madame Rosa. In 1987, American director Harold Prince staged a short-lived musical version on Broadway under the title "Roza" with a libretto and lyrics by Julian More and music by Gilbert Becaud.