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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
9,249328666 (3.97)1 / 708
Life and death in occupied France during World War II.
Recently added byDominikaAPA, private library, kristiederuiter, louchobi, ms_cegenation, nerval, MothersRuin, GreteM, Bill.Elman
Legacy LibrariesLeslie Scalapino
  1. 60
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (albavirtual)
  2. 72
    Atonement by Ian McEwan (Queenofcups)
  3. 50
    All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (charlie68)
    charlie68: Both books take place in France during the Second World War.
  4. 40
    The Diary of Anne Frank: A Play in Two Acts by Frances Goodrich (albavirtual)
  5. 40
    War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (chrisharpe)
  6. 20
    Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman (chrisharpe)
  7. 21
    Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both are novels that take place in Nazi-occupied France during WWII.
  8. 10
    A Princess in Berlin by Arthur R. G. Solmssen (albavirtual)
  9. 10
    Brodeck's Report by Philippe Claudel (alalba)
    alalba: Two books about occupied France during WWII
  10. 10
    Resistance: A Frenchwoman's Journal of the War by Agnès Humbert (LisaCurcio)
  11. 11
    The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (pdebolt)
    pdebolt: Both are very powerful books about German-occupied France during WWII and the role of women.
  12. 00
    Yellow Tapers for Paris by Bruce Marshall (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Both are fiction, written during and/or immediately after the occupation and showing significant reflection.
  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
    A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary by Marta Hillers (VenusofUrbino)
  15. 00
    The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck (chrisharpe)
  16. 11
    All Our Worldly Goods by Irène Némirovsky (KimB)
  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 (289)  Spanish (12)  Italian (8)  French (5)  Norwegian (3)  Catalan (3)  Swedish (3)  German (2)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (326)
Showing 1-5 of 289 (next | show all)
Well written. Really thought the book was two stories: people fleeing Paris, and then the story of how the French lived with the Germans during occupation. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
This book was such a surprise. I bought it a few years ago, when the hype about it was everywhere. I tried reading it a couple of times and never got past the first few pages. Until now, that is…

While reading I was of course aware that the author had died at Auschwitz, a victim of the same war she had so carefully portrayed the previous months. This meta-literature (Can I create a word?) experience, where author and story seem to confuse themselves, both attracted and deterred me. It felt it was too intimate of an experience, and maybe an even bigger desecration to the author’s life and death.

So, the book sat in my bookcase for the past few years. But I am so glad that I finally gave it another try. I was mesmerized by Irene Nemirovsky's scope in telling this story. The German soldiers are as scared and homesick as the French soldiers. The immensity of war does not diminish the anguish of a bad marriage or, for that matter, does not make the smallness of some of the characters less pronounced.

This book is actually only about one third of the projected book idea Irene Nemirovsky intended to write. What a tragedy in so many levels that she never had the chance to do it.
( )
1 vote RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
I totally get that this book is important historically (the author wrote it concurrently while living in France during World War II, before being taken away to her eventual death at Auschwitz), but unfortunately that doesn’t help the fact that this book was at moments quite frustrating to read. It has good moments and its depictions of Parisians fleeing the city after the German invasion and of the changes brought upon a small country town by the German occupation are undoubtedly a useful chronicle of how the common people of France endured the War, but I couldn’t help feeling like the book could have been so much more. Obviously reading this book in its current iteration (as a single novel, rather than as two completely separate books in the same loosely bound series) led my perception in a specific way, since each half has a very different tone. The first (chronicling the exodus of refugees from Paris and the chaos that consumed the countryside at the outset of occupation) book felt rather frantic and disjointed to me, and was not altogether an enjoyable or memorable read due to the plethora of characters with no proper lead. The second half was much more concrete, as the central characters quickly emerged even among the cast of an entire village/regiment, and their story was incredibly engaging. The film that is based on this novel was clearly drawn from only the second section, as the relationship between the French girl and her German officer is one for the ages; I only wish that the novel had been presented as such. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
Avete visto il film Suite Francese? Beh, dimenticatelo, è una storiella d'amore insulsa in confronto a questo resoconto romanzato degli sfollamenti della Parigi bombardata durante la Seconda Guerra Mondiale.

Un ritratto senza sconti di vite in guerra che con le bassezze della guerra devono fare i conti. Il risultato è un' avvincente storia incompiuta tratta dagli appunti di una grande scrittrice deportata ed "eliminata" in un campo di sterminio. E troviamo vigliacchi ed eroi, approfittatori e ingenui, temute divise di invasori indossate da uomini normali, spaccati di vita di quotidiana sopravvivenza.
Un bel, bellissimo libro, ma di certo non una storia d'amore. ( )
  LauraLaLunga | Feb 15, 2021 |
Irene Nemirovsky was a very talented writer. This unfinished book (due to the author's arrest and subsequent death at Auschwitz in the summer of 1942) is well written with rich descriptions. There is a large cast of characters that can be a little hard to follow at times. ( )
  niquetteb | Jan 20, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 289 (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 (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Irène Némirovskyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Epstein, DeniseEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rubinstein, OlivierEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anissimov, MyriamForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bigliosi, CinziaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frausin Guarino, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moldenhauer, EvaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olsson, DagmarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oreskes, DanielNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenblat, BarbaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sarkar, ManikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, SandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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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Life and death in occupied France during World War II.

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2 editions of this book were published by HighBridge.

Editions: 1598870203, 1615730419

HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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