The Life of Irene Nemirovsky

Author of Suite Francaise

Publisher: Knopf Canada
A major biography of Irène Némirovksy, author of the acclaimed and internationally bestselling Suite Française — with new material never published in English.

Irène Némirovksy's own life was as dramatic as any fiction. And few writers enjoy a posthumous resurgence as astonishing as hers after the international triumph of Suite Française. The authors of this fascinating biography have had access to previously unpublished documents and to surviving family members in Russia, researching there her childhood in the Ukraine, and tracing her odyssey first to St Petersburg, where her father was a successful financier, and then, as the family was forced to flee the Russian Revolution, to Finland, Sweden and finally France in 1919.

Meticulously researched and passionately felt, this is a remarkable, panoramic biography of an exceptional writer, a moving portrait of a woman and of her extraordinary times, and a sweeping saga of a turbulent period of European history, holding up a mirror to the world of publishing, intellectual thought, society and the darker shadow of prejudice between the wars.

From the Hardcover edition.


Chapter 1

The Most Beautiful Country in the World


But those were legendary times, those distant times when the gardens of the most beautiful city in our Homeland were the preserve of a young, carefree generation.

Then, yes, then the conviction took root in the hearts of...
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“Anyone who admired Suite Française will want to read this book, because Némirovsky’s story was so extraordinary, her character so bewitching. . . . A remarkable feat of research, collating long-lost notes and fragments.”
— Max Hastings, The Sunday Times
“Riveting. . . . Beautifully translated.”
— Nicholas Shakespeare, Telegraph
“Informative and serious-minded. . . . This book, which strives to tell uncomfortable truths, is an important contribution to understanding a complex, painful but ultimately triumphant story.”
— Anne Chisholm, Telegraph

From the Hardcover edition.