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Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky
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Suite Française (2004)

by Irène Némirovsky

Other authors: Denise Epstein (Editor), Olivier Rubinstein (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,011252511 (3.97)1 / 538
1001 (32) 1001 books (33) 2007 (51) 20th century (83) book club (63) book group (31) fiction (962) France (613) French (167) French fiction (54) French literature (128) German occupation (70) historical (51) historical fiction (213) history (71) Holocaust (199) Jewish (37) literature (76) Nazis (34) novel (176) occupation (51) own (51) Paris (101) read (71) read in 2007 (41) to-read (152) translation (47) unread (65) war (119) WWII (772)
  1. 52
    Atonement by Ian McEwan (Queenofcups)
  2. 20
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (albavirtual)
  3. 20
    War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (chrisharpe)
  4. 10
    Brodeck's Report by Philippe Claudel (alalba)
    alalba: Two books about occupied France during WWII
  5. 10
    Résistance: A Woman's Journal of Struggle and Defiance in Occupied France by Agnès Humbert (LisaCurcio)
  6. 10
    Life and Fate by Vassili Grossman (chrisharpe)
  7. 00
    A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary by Marta Hillers (VenusofUrbino)
  8. 00
    The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich (albavirtual)
  9. 11
    All Our Worldly Goods by Irène Némirovsky (KimB)
  10. 00
    Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels (bookwormjules)
  11. 00
    The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck (chrisharpe)
  12. 00
    A Princess in Berlin by Arthur R. G. Solmssen (albavirtual)
  13. 01
    Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both are novels that take place in Nazi-occupied France during WWII.
  14. 01
    The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy (Yervant)
    Yervant: Both works focus on German occupation during World War II, one in France, the other in Guernsey. The storyline of a local woman falling in love with a German occupier is also a common thread, (though more successful and believable in my opinion in Nemirovsky's work than in Leroy's.)… (more)
  15. 01
    To Siberia by Per Petterson (TeeKay)
  16. 01
    Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: Nothing to do with France or WWII, but in many ways a similar, acutely observed portrait of village life, with an especially keen eye on the bourgeois class.
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English (222)  Spanish (10)  Italian (8)  Norwegian (3)  French (3)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  All languages (250)
Showing 1-5 of 222 (next | show all)
A re-read on behalf of my book club. The literary world is so lucky the manuscripts were discovered and brought forth. A contemporary wartime France epic-in-progress by a brave writer in hiding. Her personal tragedy and the incredible emergence of this work would overshadow a lesser achievement, but this unfinished work is quite good. ( )
  JamesMScott | Apr 3, 2014 |
This book is really the first 2 books of a planned 5 part series. Only a few characters link them - the first part is almost like short stories about a disparate bunch of people fleeing Paris ahead of Nazi occupation, the second part is a more coherent story of a village living with occupation. Incredible character sketches, surprisingly funny, and unbelievable it was written so contemporaneously with the events it describes. The author was killed in Auschwitz in 1942 so the other 3 parts were never finished, and the letters and notes at the back are terrible and poignant to read with the benefit of hindsight. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Mar 30, 2014 |
This book was so beautifully read that I could listen to it again; so beautifully written that one day I should sit down to read it in print and savor every sentence. Nemirovsky paints a picture of what it was like to be in France at the beginning of World War II -- before they knew it was World War II -- still completely innocent of the atrocities the war would bring -- yet already rich with foreshadowing about who would be in the Resistance and who would collaborate. A Dickensian cast of characters, good and evil and human, making choices at a time when there was still some freedom to choose -- ( )
  read.to.live | Mar 24, 2014 |
Nemirovsky's prose is effortlessly elegant as she details the strength of the French people, their struggles to survive and their fight to hold strong to their culture and customs as they face their conquerors. The author easily conjures the emotions of each character, exploring the impact of war on both the classes and the sexes. She had amazing gift to create a story that sympathized with all involved and portrayed world events before they could be digested and examined. Suite Francaise is both disheartening and hopeful, leaving the reader both exhausted and entirely fulfilled. Read more at http://thekeytothegate.blogspot.com/2014/03/suite-francaise-by-irene-nemirovsky.... ( )
  rebeccaskey | Mar 3, 2014 |
Wonderful and moving stories of France at war. All of it takes place behind the lines. Can't wait to read her other works. She was one of the people swallowed up by Auschwitz and I felt so angry about it all over again. Thank God we have some of her writings at least. ( )
  gossypia | Feb 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 222 (next | show all)
Irène Némirovsky wanted Suite Française to be a five-book cycle about the occupation of France, but only completed a draft of two books before the Nazis sent her to Auschwitz, and to the gas chambers, in 1942. Her manuscript was lost in a basement for sixty years until her daughter, who had been pursued by Nazis through the French countryside as a child, discovered and published it. And now, impossibly, we can read the two books of Suite Française.
 
Less a Wheel than a Wave
added by MikeBriggs | editLondon Review of Books, Dan Jacobson (pay site) (May 11, 2006)
 
French critics hailed "Suite Française" as a masterpiece when it was first published there in 2004. They weren't exaggerating. The writing is accomplished, the plotting sure, and the fact that Némirovsky could write about events like the fall of Paris with such assurance and irony just weeks after they occurred is nothing short of astonishing.
 
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.
added by krazy4katz | editNew York Times, Paul Gray (Apr 9, 2006)
 

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Irène Némirovskyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Epstein, DeniseEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rubinstein, OlivierEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anissimov, MyriamContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frausin Guarino, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oreskes, DanielNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenblat, BarbaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sarkar, ManikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, SandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
I dedicate this novel to the memory of my mother and father, to my sister Elisabeth Gille, to my children and grandchildren, and to everyone who has felt and continues to feel the tragedy of intolerance. Denise Epstein
First words
Hot, thought the Parisians.
Quotations
Important events–whether serious, happy or unfortunate–do not change a man's soul, they merely bring it into relief, just as a strong gust of wind reveals the true shape of a tree when it blows off all the leaves.
Everything withdrew back into the night: the songs, the murmur of kisses, the soft brightness of the stars, the footsteps of the conqueror on the pavement and the sigh of the thirsty frog praying to the heavens for rain, in vain.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099488787, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:01 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Beginning in Paris on the eve of the Nazi occupation in 1940, this books tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. As Parisians flee the city, human folly surfaces in every imaginable way; a wealthy mother searches for sweets in a town without food, a couple is terrified at the thought of losing their jobs, even as their world begins to fall apart. Moving on to a provincial village now occupied by German soldiers, the locals must learn to coexist with the enemy -- in their town, their homes, even in their hearts. -- Back Cover… (more)

» see all 13 descriptions

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Editions: 1598870203, 1615730419

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