The Némirovsky Question by Susan Rubin Suleiman
The Life, Death, and Legacy of a Jewish Writer in Twentieth-Century France

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Besides research in published and archival sources and close readings of the writer’s works, Suleiman draws on interviews with Némirovsky’s surviving family members to offer an intimate, perceptive portrait of a complex woman and her times. A useful biographical portrait of an intriguing writer.
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Synopsis

A fascinating look into the life and work of controversial French novelist Irène Némirovsky

Irène Némirovsky succeeded in creating a brilliant career as a novelist in the 1930s, only to have her life cut short: a “foreign Jew” in France, she was deported in 1942 and died in Auschwitz. But her two young daughters survived, and as adults they brought their mother back to life. In 2004, Suite française, Némirovsky’s posthumous novel, became an international best seller; some critics, however, condemned her as a “self-hating Jew” whose earlier works were rife with anti-Semitic stereotypes. Informed by personal interviews with Némirovsky’s descendants and others, as well as by extensive archival research, this wide-ranging intellectual biography situates Némirovsky in the literary and political climate of interwar France and recounts, for the first time, the postwar lives of her daughters. Némirovsky's Jewish works, Suleiman argues, should be read as explorations of the conflicted identities that shaped the lives of secular Jews in twentieth-century Europe and beyond.
 

About Susan Rubin Suleiman

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Susan Rubin Suleiman is the C. Douglas Dillon Research Professor of the Civilization of France and research professor of comparative literature at Harvard. She lives in Belmont, MA.
 
Published November 22, 2016 by Yale University Press. 376 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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on Sep 06 2016

Besides research in published and archival sources and close readings of the writer’s works, Suleiman draws on interviews with Némirovsky’s surviving family members to offer an intimate, perceptive portrait of a complex woman and her times. A useful biographical portrait of an intriguing writer.

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