Friday, April 27, 2007

Irène Némirovsky, Writer

There was an interesting piece in the New York Times a while back ... titled As France Burned .

They wrote: This stunning book contains two narratives, one fictional and the other a fragmentary, factual account of how the fiction came into being. "Suite Française" itself consists of two novellas portraying life in France from June 4, 1940, as German forces prepare to invade Paris, through July 1, 1941, when some of Hitler's occupying troops leave France to join the assault on the Soviet Union.

At the end of the volume, a series of appendices and a biographical sketch provide, among other things, information about the author of the novellas.

Born in Ukraine, Irène Némirovsky had lived in France since 1919 and had established herself in her adopted country's literary community, publishing nine novels and a biography of Chekhov.

She composed "Suite Française" in the village of Issy-l'Evêque, where she, her husband and two young daughters had settled after fleeing Paris. On July 13, 1942, French policemen, enforcing the German race laws, arrested Némirovsky as "a stateless person of Jewish descent." She was transported to Auschwitz, where she died in the infirmary on Aug. 17.

Obviously I wasn't the only person to find her story interesting ... and the definitive website of Irène Némirovsky can be found here

The International Herald Tribune was also running a story here.


paris parfait said...

I have her book - didn't know you hadn't read it, or would have sent it home w/ you.

woman wandering said...

Oh ... it sounded so interesting. I don't know when I made a note of her but it might have been after we stayed with you. Thank you for the thought though.