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Monday, January 5, 2009

Novels from Irene Nemirovsky


Pub Date: For this collection, Everyman's Library, 2008
Genre: Fiction
My Rating: 4.25/5



About the author from Bantam Publishing:

Irène Némirovsky was born in Kiev in 1903 into a wealthy banking family and emigrated to France during the Russian Revolution. After attending the Sorbonne in Paris she began to write and swiftly achieved success with DAVID GOLDER, which was followed by more than a dozen other books. Throughout her lifetime she published widely in French newspapers and literary journals. She died in Auschwitz in 1942. More than sixty years later, Suite Française, was published posthumously, for the first time, in 2006.

David Golder
  • A novel about greed and loneliness, the story of a self-made business man, once wealthy, now suffering a breakdown as he nears the lonely end of his life.
    (from the book jacket)

The Ball

  • A pointed exploration of adolescence and the obsession with status among the bourgeoisie

Snow in Autumn

  • An evocative tale of White Russian emigres in Paris after the Russian Revolution

These novels are short fictional stories that allow the reader to emotionally connect with the characters, especially the protagonist, in each one. The events that occur only help to reinforce those connections, whether you have experienced them or not. You may even know people who behave like the characters in these stories. My Super Sweet 16 on MTV immediately came to my mind for one of the stories.

Nemirovsky truly understands and is able to convey human behavior and emotions. Whether you agree with the actions of the protagonists or not, you can not help but feel sorry for them. And although these stories are set in the earlier part of the 20th century, the themes that are explored are certainly very relevant.

I highly recommend this book, even though I didn't read the last story. I just knew the protagonist would not have a good ending. It is a shame the life of this wonderful author was cut so short.

1 comment:

Hannah Furst said...

I recently read your post about Irène Némirovsky and wanted to let you know about an exciting new exhibition about her life, work, and legacy that opened on September 24, 2008 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage —A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City. Woman of Letters: Irène Némirovsky and Suite Française, which will run through the middle of March, will include powerful rare artifacts — the actual handwritten manuscript for Suite Française, the valise in which it was found, and many personal papers and family photos. The majority of these documents and artifacts have never been outside of France. For fans of her work, this exhibition is an opportunity to really “get to know” Irene. And for those who can’t visit, there will be a special website that will live on the Museum’s site www.mjhnyc.org.

The Museum will host several public programs over the course of the exhibition’s run that will put Némirovsky’s work and life into historical and literary context. Book clubs and groups are invited to the Museum for tours and discussions in the exhibition’s adjacent Salon (by appointment). It is the Museum’s hope that the exhibit will engage visitors and promote dialogue about this extraordinary writer and the complex time in which she lived and died. To book a group tour, please contact Tracy Bradshaw at 646.437.4304 or tbradshaw@mjhnyc.org. Please visit our website at www.mjhnyc.org for up-to-date information about upcoming public programs or to join our e-bulletin list.

Thanks for sharing this info with your readers. If you need any more, please do not hesitate to contact me at hfurst@mjhnyc.org

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