Suite Francaise

Suite Francaise

Paperback Vintage Books

By (author) Irène Némirovsky, Translated by Sandra Smith

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 194mm x 32mm | 281g
  • Publication date: 1 February 2007
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099488787
  • ISBN 13: 9780099488781
  • Sales rank: 9,919

Product description

In 1941, Irene Nemirovsky sat down to write a book that would convey the magnitude of what she was living through by evoking the domestic lives and personal trials of the ordinary citizens of France. Nemirovsky's death in Auschwitz in 1942 prevented her from seeing the day, sixty-five years later, that the existing two sections of her planned novel sequence, Suite Francaise, would be rediscovered and hailed as a masterpiece. Set during the year that France fell to the Nazis, Suite Francaise falls into two parts. The first is a brilliant depiction of a group of Parisians as they flee the Nazi invasion; the second follows the inhabitants of a small rural community under occupation. Suite Francaise is a novel that teems with wonderful characters struggling with the new regime. However, amidst the mess of defeat, and all the hypocrisy and compromise, there is hope. True nobility and love exist, but often in surprising places.

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Author information

Irene Nemirovsky was born in Kiev in 1903, the daughter of a successful Jewish banker. In 1918 her family fled the Russian Revolution for France where she became a bestselling novelist, author of David Golder, Le Bal and other works published in her lifetime or soon after, as well as the posthumous Suite Francaise and Fire in the Blood. In July 1942 she was arrested by the French police and interned in Pithiviers concentration camp, and from there immediately deported to Auschwitz where she died in August 1942.

Review quote

"An irresistible work. Suite Francaise clutches the heart" -- Carmen Callil The Times "It is quite outstanding, full of beauty, pain and truth... We are lucky to have this book" -- Anne Chisholm Sunday Telegraph "The facts surrounding the discovery of this book are as remarkable as its contents are magnificent... A triumph of indomitability and a masterwork of literary accomplishment" Sunday Times "Deftly translated by Sandra Smith, this is possibly the most devastating indictment of French manners and morals since Madame Bovary, as hypnotic as Proust at the biscuit tin, as gruelling as Genet on the prowl. Irene Nemirovsky is, on this evidence, a novelist of the very first order, perceptive to a fault and sly in her emotional restraint" Evening Standard "An heroic attempt to write a novel about a nightmare in which the author is entirely embedded" -- Anita Brookner Spectator