By the early 1940s, when Ukrainian-born Irène Némirovsky began working on what would become Suite Française - the first two parts of a planned five-part novel - she was already a highly successful writer living in Paris. But she was also a Jew, and in 1942 she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz: a month later she was dead at the age of 39. Two years earlier, living in a small village in central France - where she, her husband, and their two small daughters had fled in a vain attempt to elude the Nazis - she'd begun her novel, a luminous portrayal of a human drama.
"One word: Epic"
In June 1940 France fell to the Nazis. The effects of this momentous event on the lives of ordinary Parisians and the inhabitants of a small rural community under occupation are brilliantly explored in Irène Némirovsky’s gripping and heartbreaking novel. Némirovsky herself was a tragic victim of the Nazi regime but she left behind her this exceptional masterpiece. In Suite Française she conjures up a vivid cast of wonderful characters who find themselves thrown together in ways they never expected.
"Tempête en juin" décrit par le menu l'Exode, et ce traumatisme qui arracha le masque social de bien des gens, dévoilant veulerie ou courage, égoïsme ou générosité. Dans "Dolce", l'auteur dissèque le calme apparent régnant dans la petite ville de Bussy, l'ambigüité des liens qui lient sa population et les occupants, puis les tensions nées des premières actions de la Résistance.
Irene Nemirovsky was arrested soon after completing the second part of Suite Francaise. Ten days later, on August 17, 1942, she died of typhus in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Her husband, Michel, perished in a gas chamber on November 6. Their daughters, Denise and Elizabeth, survived, hidden in safe houses and convents, carrying a suitcase packed with clothes, photographs, and their mother's manuscript written in tiny letters to save paper.
"The best book I've read all year"
In 1941, Irène Némirovsky sat down to write a book that would convey the magnitude of what she was living through, not in terms of battles and politicians, but by evoking the domestic lives and personal trials of the ordinary citizens of France. She did not live to see her ambition fulfilled, or to know that 65 years later, Suite Française would be published for the first time, and hailed as a masterpiece.
"A bit disappointing"
Eine der größten literarischen Wiederentdeckungen der letzten Jahre. Sommer 1940: Die deutsche Armee steht vor Paris. Voller Panik packen die Menschen ihre letzten Habseligkeiten zusammen und fliehen. Angesichts der existentiellen Bedrohung zeigen sie ihren wahren Charakter.
At the center of the tale is Silvio: in his younger years he fled the boredom of the village and made a life of travel and adventure. Now he's returned, living in a farmer's hovel in the middle of the woods, and, much to his family's chagrin, perfectly content with his solitude.
"Well Written & Enjoyable"
Satt, selbstzufrieden und in der wohligen Gewissheit, dass sich nie etwas ändern wird: Die Fabrikantenfamilie Hardelot...