A never-before-translated collection by the bestselling author of Suite Française
Written between 1934 and 1942, these ten gem-like stories mine the same terrain of Némirovsky's bestselling novel Suite Française: a keen eye for the details of social class; the tensions between mothers and daughters, husbands and wives; the manners and mannerisms of the French bourgeoisie; questions of religion and personal identity. Moving from the drawing rooms of pre-war Paris to the lives of men and women in wartime France, here we find the beautiful work of a writer at the height of her tragically short career.
Ten luminous and newly translated stories by N mirovsky (Suite Fran aise), who died at Auschwitz, expose the miseries that undermine happy families. Set mostly in France, where the author immigrated after the Russian revolution, these accomplished tales create worlds full of secrets and treacheries, such as in the title story, set on one typical Sunday at a bourgeois Parisian home where the middle-aged wife and mother, Agnes once embittered by her husband's taking of a mistress, but now apathetic to his wanderings remembers her own lost love. "Flesh and Blood" is a masterpiece of familial subterfuge revolving around an aged matriarch who falls ill and tries to keep peace among her three self-absorbed sons and their grasping wives. In "The Spell," a young visitor to a messy Russian household gleans dark mysteries around a lovelorn aunt's romantic sorcery; several of the tales, such as "The Spectator" and "Monsieur Rose," capture aloof, prosperous gentlemen fleeing Paris in advance of the Nazis. In this superlative translation, N mirovsky's characters emerge full-fleshed, and her voice remains timeless and relevant.