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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
7,537283457 (3.97)1 / 605
  1. 30
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (albavirtual)
  2. 30
    War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (chrisharpe)
  3. 52
    Atonement by Ian McEwan (Queenofcups)
  4. 20
    Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman (chrisharpe)
  5. 20
    The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich (albavirtual)
  6. 10
    Brodeck's Report by Philippe Claudel (alalba)
    alalba: Two books about occupied France during WWII
  7. 10
    A Princess in Berlin by Arthur R. G. Solmssen (albavirtual)
  8. 10
    Résistance: A Woman's Journal of Struggle and Defiance in Occupied France by Agnès Humbert (LisaCurcio)
  9. 10
    All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (charlie68)
    charlie68: Both books take place in France during the Second World War.
  10. 10
    The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (pdebolt)
    pdebolt: Both are very powerful books about German-occupied France during WWII and the role of women.
  11. 11
    Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both are novels that take place in Nazi-occupied France during WWII.
  12. 00
    A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary by Marta Hillers (VenusofUrbino)
  13. 11
    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)
  14. 00
    Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels (bookwormjules)
  15. 11
    All Our Worldly Goods by Irène Némirovsky (KimB)
  16. 00
    The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck (chrisharpe)
  17. 01
    To Siberia by Per Petterson (TeeKay)
  18. 02
    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 (250)  Spanish (10)  Italian (7)  Norwegian (3)  French (3)  Swedish (3)  Catalan (2)  German (1)  All languages (279)
Showing 1-5 of 250 (next | show all)
An incredibly well written portrait of France during the Second World War, Suite Francaise is subtly hopeful and a bit sad. I found the sheer number of characters a little hard to keep straight, but I assume this is mostly because I was reading it in small bits during my commute instead of all at once. I can only imagine what this book might have been had Nemirovsky been able to finish the other three parts (this work is two of what was intended as a five-part novel). ( )
  ajsteadman | Apr 20, 2016 |
Not your average war book, as this was written by the author before she was captured and died in a camp. Her daughters kept her papers, but thought she had been writing a memoir, instead, it was a fictional story focused on the French as they were overrun by the Germans. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
This is a funny, moving, and intriguing look at the days just before, and the year after, the Nazi occupation of Paris in WW2. It shows the way people of different socioeconomic classes responded to the crisis...from servants, to farmers, to the aristocracy. Each page is full of descriptions of the panic, turmoil, fear, and hope which comprise daily life are the focus of every page of this fascinating story - made even more fascinating when you take into account the author's fate during WW2.

It was surprising that, despite the fact that the Germans were focused on the Jewish population, and that the author herself was Jewish, there was virtually no mention of Jews in this story. No raids, arrests, or deportations were mentioned. It seemed that, for the characters in the book, the German occupation was more of an inconvenience rather than a complete terror.

At the end of my copy, there were appendices containing photocopied pages from the author's journal, as well as letters from her and her husband to each other and acquaintances. The novel was meant to be a "suite" of multiple books, exploring daily life for the French before/during/after WW2. Unfortunately, the two sections of Suite Francaise are all that exist. ( )
  BooksForYears | Apr 1, 2016 |
I haven't finished this book yet and while I consider it very good, I don't consider it a masterpiece as many reviewers seem to do. My main objection is the heavy handed negative characterization of the French as selfish and mercenary and of the French bourgeoisie in particular as greedy, avaricious, materialistic, self-absorbed and hypocritical. Only the downtrodden working classes have any redeeming qualities of selflessness, kindness and solidarity. This is too simplistic a dichotomy for me to raise it to masterpiece status. Perhaps the fact that my flyleaf 'masterpiece' reviewers were Brits (anti-frog bias) is an explanation for the glowing reviews. Mostly I think it's the tragedy of the author's end in the death camps that makes people over-rate the book which is an excellent in time depiction and narrative of daily life during the war years in France but definitely not a masterpiece in my opinion.
  amaraki | Mar 27, 2016 |
Part way through. Such patience in this narrative, given that it is written in the middest. Pretty amazing to see the distance and control. I read lots of WW2 books. This provides the sense of suspension--maybe this won't be so bad-- in France early in the war. I've never had this sense before. A really amazing book.
  idiotgirl | Mar 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 250 (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)
 
El descubrimiento de un manuscrito perdido de Irène Némirovsky causó una auténtica conmoción en el mundo editorial francés y europeo. Novela excepcional escrita en condiciones excepcionales, Suite francesa retrata con maestría una época fundamental de la Europa del siglo XX. En otoño de 2004 le fue concedido el premio Renaudot, otorgado por primera vez a un autor fallecido. Imbuida de un claro componente autobiográfico, Suite francesa se inicia en París los días previos a la invasión alemana, en un clima de incertidumbre e incredulidad. Enseguida, tras las primeras bombas, miles de familias se lanzan a las carreteras en coche, en bicicleta o a pie. Némirovsky dibuja con precisión las escenas, unas conmovedoras y otras grotescas, que se suceden en el camino: ricos burgueses angustiados, amantes abandonadas, ancianos olvidados en el viaje, los bombardeos sobre la población indefensa, las artimañas para conseguir agua, comida y gasolina. A medida que los alemanes van tomando posesión del país, se vislumbra un desmoronamiento del orden social imperante y el nacimiento de una nueva época. La presencia de los invasores despertará odios, pero también historias de amor clandestinas y públicas muestras de colaboracionismo. Concebida como una composición en cinco partes —de las cuales la autora sólo alcanzó a escribir dos— Suite francesa combina un retrato intimista de la burguesía ilustrada con una visión implacable de la sociedad francesa durante la ocupación. Con lucidez, pero también con un desasosiego notablemente exento de sentimentalismo, Némirovsky muestra el fiel reflejo de una sociedad que ha perdido su rumbo. El tono realista y distante de Némirovsky le permite componer una radiografía fiel del país que la ha abandonado a su suerte y la ha arrojado en manos de sus verdugos. Estamos pues ante un testimonio profundo y conmovedor de la condición humana, escrito sin la facilidad de la distancia ni la perspectiva del tiempo, por alguien que no llegó a conocer siquiera el final del cataclismo que le tocó vivir.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
 

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Irène Némirovskyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Epstein, DeniseEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rubinstein, OlivierEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anissimov, MyriamForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bigliosi, CinziaTranslatorsecondary 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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:23 -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 15 descriptions

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