Suite Francaise

Suite Francaise

Downloadable Audiobook - 2013
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By the early l940s, when Ukrainian-born Irène Némirovsky began working on what would become Suite Française—the first two parts of a planned five-part novel—she was already a highly successful writer living in Paris. But she was also a Jew, and in 1942 she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz: a month later she was dead at the age of thirty-nine. Two years earlier, living in a small village in central France—where she, her husband, and their two small daughters had fled in a vain attempt to elude the Nazis—she'd begun her novel, a luminous portrayal of a human drama in which she herself would become a victim. When she was arrested, she had completed two parts of the epic, the handwritten manuscripts of which were hidden in a suitcase that her daughters would take with them into hiding and eventually into freedom. Sixty-four years later, at long last, we can read Némirovsky's literary masterpiece The first part, "A Storm in June," opens in the chaos of the massive 1940 exodus from Paris on the eve of the Nazi invasion during which several families and individuals are thrown together under circumstances beyond their control. They share nothing but the harsh demands of survival—some trying to maintain lives of privilege, others struggling simply to preserve their lives—but soon, all together, they will be forced to face the awful exigencies of physical and emotional displacement, and the annihilation of the world they know. In the second part, "Dolce," we enter the increasingly complex life of a German-occupied provincial village. Coexisting uneasily with the soldiers billeted among them, the villagers—from aristocrats to shopkeepers to peasants—cope as best they can. Some choose resistance, others collaboration, and as their community is transformed by these acts, the lives of these these men and women reveal nothing less than the very essence of humanity.Suite Française is a singularly piercing evocation—at once subtle and severe, deeply compassionate and fiercely ironic—of life and death in occupied France, and a brilliant, profoundly moving work of art.
Publisher: New York : Random House Audio, 2013
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780804148733
Branch Call Number: Audio Download
Characteristics: audio file
digital,stereo,Digital recording
1 online resource (11 audio files) : digital
Additional Contributors: Oreskes, Daniel


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Sep 30, 2016

There is no doubt that Némirovsky was an excellent writer. Her descriptions are so rich. However, her characters are all very unsympathetic, particularity in "A Storm in June." In terms of the audio, I preferred the voice of Barbara Rosenblat, who read "Dolce."

Mar 08, 2015

Part of this I liked - depiction of younger German soldiers had a different aspect than all previous reads. Otherwise, didn't really care for the author.

May 16, 2012

A remarkable tapestry of French lives in 1940-41, written as events were unfolding. The authoress' own fate was just as ironic -- see Wikipedia.


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notTom Dec 16, 2010

Originally intended to be a five-part cycle about life in Nazi-occupied France during World War II, Suite Française consists of the first two parts. The first, entitled “Storm in June”, focuses on chaotic life in Paris just before the imminent Nazi invasion in 1940, while the second, “Dolce”, chronicles French village life under the ensuing German occupation. Sadly, Némirovsky never completed the other three parts of her work, as she was sent to Auschwitz because of her Jewish heritage and died there in July 1942.

Newly discovered and published more than 60 years after it was written, Suite Française stands as an elegant, yet tragic, reminder that life can deliver both beauty and pain amidst the uncertainty of troubled times.


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