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The Life of Irene Nemirovsky: 1903-1942by Patrick Lienhardt
Synopses & Reviews
A phenomenally well-sourced, detailed, analytical, and beautifully written biography saturated with Nemirovsky's own bracing candor and penetrating insights . . . Tenacious, shrewd, fearless, alluring, and gifted, she wrote unflinchingly about human failings and transcendence in nine novels and dozens of stories between 1932 and 1942. Philipponnat and Lienhardt chronicle every complex challenge, joy, and betrayal Nemirovsky faced, up to her death at Auschwitz, in this propulsive, discerning, and devastating portrait of a brilliant writer in a time of escalating horror.
--Booklist (starred review)
Anyone who admired Suite Francaise will want to read this book, because Nemirovsky's story was so extraordinary, her character so bewitching . . . This biography represents a remarkable feat of research, collating long-lost notes and fragments . . . Nemirovsky] emerges as irresistibly elusive, brilliant personality suffused with melancholy and tragedy even before the death camp beckoned.
--Max Hastings, The Sunday Times (London)
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, The Sunday Telegraph (London)
Riveting . . . A] tremendous biography . . . Beautifully translated by Euan Cameron.
--Nicholas Shakespeare, The Daily Telegraph (London)
From the Hardcover edition.
Draws on N
About the Author
Olivier Philipponnat and Patrick Lienhardt are coauthors of an acclaimed biography of Roger Stéphane, who was the cofounder of L’Observateur and a pioneer of educational television in France. In addition to The Life of Irne Némirovsky, they have collaborated on a number of projects pertaining to Némirovsky’s fiction, including prefaces to new editions of her novels. Philipponnat will curate an exhibit at the Mémorial de la Shoah based on Némirovsky’s life and works, which will open in Paris in October 2010.
Prior to their work together, Lienhardt worked as a press attaché at the haute couture house Yves Saint Laurent, before focusing on publishing and writing. He created and managed a Web site dedicated to book news, Parutions.com, until 2002. Philipponant was formerly a music critic at Compact and Cinefonia; he now writes as a literary critic for Parutions.com and Le Magazine des livres. He is also the author of The Superfluous Dictionary of Classical Music.
Table of Contents
Prologue- I Think We Are Leaving Today... (16h/17th July 1942) — Part I- A Previous Life (1903-1929) — 1. The Most Beautiful Country in the World (1903-1911) — 2. The Vague and murderous Hope (1912-1917) — 3. The Upheaval of All Life (1917-1919) — 4. Miss Topsy and Mademoiselle Mad (1919-1924)-- 5. The Demon of Pride (1925-1929) — Part II- In the Literary Jungle (1929-1939) — 6. One Ounce of Good Luck (1929-1931) — 7. Enough Memories to Make a Novel (1932-1935) — 8. How Happy Are the French! (1935-1938) — 9. Children of the Night (1938-1939) — Part III- Stronger Than the Aversion (1939-1942) — 10. French Monsoon (1939-1941) — 11. Hatred + Contempt (1941-1942) — 12. As on a Shipwrecked Boat (13th July-9th November 1942) — Epilogue- A Long Journey (1943-2004)
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