White Dog, released in France as Chien Blanc, is a non-fiction autobiographical novel written by Romain Gary. Originally published as a short story in Life in 1970 (9 October), the full novel was published in 1970 in French in France by Éditions Gallimard. Gary's English version of the novel was published in North America in the same year by New American Library. The novel provides a fictionalized account of Gary and his wife's experiences in the 1960s with a stray Alabama police dog trained to attack black people on sight, and their attempts to have the dog reprogrammed.
Gary uses the novel as a vehicle to denounce both racism and the activists supporting African-American rights, including his own ex-wife Jean Seberg and Marlon Brando. He also examines whether human responses to situations, including racism, are learned social behavior and whether they can be unlearned. In 1981, it was adapted into the controversial film of the same name, in which director Samuel Fuller made various changes to the novel's story to focus more on the dog and present a more pessimistic ending than the original novel. The film's American release after negative press from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) led to concerns of boycotts.
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date of publication: 1970