Irène Némirovsky

Author of the novel, Suite Francaise ...

irene nemirovsky

Biography

Date of birth:11 February 1903

Date of death:1942

Irène Némirovsky was the daughter of a Jewish banker from Ukraine, Léon Némirovsky. The Némirovskys lived in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where she was brought up by a French gouvernante, almost making French her native tongue. Irène also spoke Yiddish, Basque, Finnish, Polish, and English (probably learned while strolling the Rue des Rosiers in Paris, according to an interview)

The Némirovsky family lived for a year in Finland in 1918 following the Russian Revolution, and then, in 1919, moved to Paris, France, where Irène attended the Sorbonne and started writing when she was only 18 years old. In 1926, Irène Némirovsky married Michel Epstein, a banker, and had two daughters: Denise, born in 1929; and Élisabeth, in 1937. In 1929 she published David Golder, the story of a Jewish banker unable to please his troubled daughter, which was an immediate success, and was adapted to the big screen by Julien Duvivier in 1930, with Harry Baur as David Golder. In 1930 her novel Le Bal, the story of a mistreated daughter and the revenge of a teenager, became a play and a movie.

On July 13, 1942, Irène Némirovsky (then 39) was arrested as a "stateless person of Jewish descent" by French police under the regulations of the German occupation. As she was being taken away, she told her daughters, "I am going on a journey now." She was brought to a convoy assembly camp at Pithiviers and on July 17 together with 928 other Jewish deportees transported to Auschwitz. Upon her arrival there two days later, her forearm was marked with an identification number. According to official papers, she died a month later of typhus.

Her husband was sent to Auschwitz shortly thereafter, and was immediately put to death in a gas chamber.

Némirovsky is now best known as the author of the unfinished Suite Française, two novellas portraying life in France between June 4, 1940 and July 1, 1941, the period during which the Nazis occupied Paris. These works are considered remarkable because they were written during the actual period itself, and yet are the product of considered reflection, rather than just a journal of events, as might be expected considering the personal turmoil experienced by the author at the time.

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Suite Francaise

Suite Francaise

(Paperback)

In 1941, Irene Nemirovsky sat down to write a book that would convey the magnitude of what she was living through by evoking the domestic lives and personal trials of the ordinary citizens of France. Nemirovsky's death in Auschwitz in 1942...
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More books by Irene Nemirovsky

Suite Francaise

Suite Francaise (Paperback)

by Irene Nemirovsky, et al.

Format: Paperback 416 pages
Published: 30/09/2006
Publisher: Vintage

5+ in stock

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4 out of 5

In 1941, Irene Nemirovsky sat down to write a book that would convey the magnitude of what she was living through by evoking the domestic lives and... Read more

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Fire in the Blood

Fire in the Blood (Hardback)

by Irene Nemirovsky, et al.

Format: Hardback 176 pages
Published: 27/09/2007
Publisher: Chatto & Windus

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4 out of 5

This perfect gem of a novel by the author of the posthumously acclaimed and bestselling "Suite Francaise" has never previously been... Read more

£12.99

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Le Bal

Le Bal (Paperback)

by Irene Nemirovsky, et al.

Format: Paperback 112 pages
Published: 04/10/2007
Publisher: Vintage

10+ in stock

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Le Bal is a sharp, brittle story of a girl who sets out to ruin the mother she hates. The Kampfs have risen swiftly up the ranks of 1930s Parisian... Read more

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David Golder

David Golder (Paperback)

by Irene Nemirovsky, et al.

Format: Paperback 176 pages
Published: 01/02/2007
Publisher: Vintage

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Translated by Sandra Smith, with an introduction by Patrick Marnham. In 1929, 26-year-old Irene Nemirovsky shot to fame in France with the... Read more

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Jezebel

Jezebel (Paperback)

by Irene Nemirovsky, et al.

Format: Paperback 208 pages
Published: 01/07/2010
Publisher: Vintage

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In a French courtroom, the trial of a woman is taking place. Gladys Eysenach is no longer young, but she is still beautiful, elegant, cold. She is... Read more

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The Dogs and the Wolves

The Dogs and the Wolves (Paperback)

by Irene Nemirovsky, et al.

Format: Paperback 224 pages
Published: 07/10/2010
Publisher: Vintage

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Ada grows up motherless in the Jewish pogroms of a Ukrainian city in the early years of the twentieth century. In the same city, Harry Sinner, the... Read more

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All Our Worldly Goods

All Our Worldly Goods (Paperback)

by Irene Nemirovsky, et al.

Format: Paperback 272 pages
Published: 02/07/2009
Publisher: Vintage

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Pierre and Agnes marry for love against the wishes of his parents and the family patriarch, the tyrannical industrialist Julien Hardelot, provoking... Read more

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The Courilof Affair

The Courilof Affair (Paperback)

by Irene Nemirovsky, et al.

Format: Paperback 176 pages
Published: 02/10/2008
Publisher: Vintage

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In 1903 Leon M - the son of two Russian revolutionaries - is given the responsibility of 'liquidating' Valerian Alexandrovitch Courilof, the... Read more

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Deux

Deux (Paperback)

by Irene Nemirovsky

Format: Paperback
Published: 15/01/2014
Publisher: Librairie generale francaise

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£9.45

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The Misunderstanding

The Misunderstanding (Paperback)

by Irene Nemirovsky, et al.

Format: Paperback 176 pages
Published: 04/07/2013
Publisher: Vintage

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From the author of Suite Francaise this is a compelling story of infatuation, passion and self-destructive love. Yves Harteloup is a disappointed... Read more

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