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Suite Francaise

Best Seller
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
Paperback $18.00
Apr 10, 2007 | ISBN 9781400096275

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  • Apr 10, 2007 | ISBN 9781400096275

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  • Apr 11, 2006 | ISBN 9780307264756

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“Stunning…. A tour de force.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Remarkable.” —Newsweek

“An incisive, heartbreaking portrait of a small French town under seige, and the people trying to survive, even to live, as Hitler’s horrors march closer and closer to their doors…. A masterpiece of observation and character study, a standout of Holocaust literature.” —New York

“[Némirovsky] sees the fullness of humanity…. A lost masterpiece.” —O, the Oprah Magazine

“Gripping…. Brilliant…. Endlessly fascinating.” —The Nation

“Transcendent, astonishing…. The last great fiction of the war.” —The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Superb.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Extraordinary…. A work of Proustian scope and delicacy, by turns funny and deeply moving.” —Time


New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age WINNER 2007

Author Essay

From the Preface to the French Edition

That the manuscript of Suite Française should have survived in such circumstances is extraordinary. It was Denise who put it into a suitcase as she and her sister fled Issy l’Evêque. She had often watched her mother writing—in tiny handwriting to save ink and paper—in the large leatherbound notebook. She took it as a memento of her mother. The suitcase accompanied Denise and Elisabeth from one precarious hiding place to another. After the war, they couldn’t bring themselves to read the notebook—having it was enough. Once, Denise tried to look inside to see what was there, but it was too painful. Many years passed, and she and her sister…agreed they should entrust their mother’s notebook to the Institut Mémoires de l’Édition Contemporaine, an organisation dedicated to documenting memories of the war, in order to preserve it. Before giving it up, Denise decided to type it out. With the help of a large magnifying glass, she began the long, difficult task of deciphering the minuscule handwriting. Soon she discovered that these were not simply notes or a private diary, as she had thought, but a violent masterpiece, a fresco of extraordinary lucidity, a vivid snapshot of France and the French. . . .

Denise Epstein sent the manuscript to the publisher Denoël. Sixty-four years after Nemirovsky’s death, we are finally able to read the last work of a writer who had held a mirror up to France at its darkest hour.

—Myriam Anissimov

The entire preface is included in the Vintage edition of Suite Française.

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