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Le Bal; And, Snow in Autumn

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  483 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
'Le Bal' depicts the life of the Kampfs who, having recently gone up in the world thanks to luck with the stock, decide to throw a ball in order to launch themselves into society. 'Snow in Autumn' pays homage Chekhov and chronicles the life of a devoted servant following her masters as they flee Moscow and emigrate to Paris.
Paperback, 106 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Vintage Books USA (first published 1931)
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Petra Eggs
Apr 27, 2009 Petra Eggs rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
This book is comprised of two novellas. The first, Le Bal, is about a 14 year old girl's revenge on her narcissistic and overbearing mother. Its an absolute gem. It is just one of the most satisfying stories ever, at least if you happen to be the daughter of a cold and unloving mother. The writing, characterisation, pacing and ending are all perfectly executed. A five-star story without a doubt. But 10 stars for the schadenfreude of the delicious denouement. Ooooh I wish I'd been there!`

The seco
Oct 30, 2016 Simona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Come mosche d'autunno presenta, oltre al racconto omonimo, anche Il ballo.
In questi due racconti in cui le tematiche familiari sono il tema centrale, la Nemirovsky ha fatto centro ancora una volta.
Nel primo racconto veniamo trasportati in una famiglia russa rappresentata dalla figura di Tat'jana, la balia, che si trasferisce in Francia. Qui fa fatica ad adattarsi alla nuova realtà, rimpiangendo la neve dei rigidi inverni russi, mentre i giovani, proprio come le mosche che in autunno hanno dell
'El baile' es un libro perfecto con todas las letras. No le sobra ni le falta nada. Es una pequeña obra maestra concentrada en menos de 100 páginas. Despierta mi envidia hasta límites insospechados.

Antoinette es una niña de 14 años, hija de un matrimonio que gracias a un golpe de suerte en la bolsa ha conseguido situarse en la alta sociedad del París de antes de la segunda guerra mundial. Por eso deciden celebrar un gran baile e invitar la flor y nata, pero no tienen pensado que Antoinette asist
from The Book Hooligan

"A kind of giddiness took hold of her: the wild need to do something outrageous and evil. She clenched her teeth, crumpled up all the invitations, tore them into little pieces and threw them into the Seine. For a long while, her heart pounding, she watched them floating, caught against one of the bridge's arches. And then the wind finally swept them deep into the water." - Narrator, from Le Bal

"Back and forth they went, between their four walls, silently, like flies in autu
Lori Bamber
Mar 26, 2017 Lori Bamber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first story in this collection of two long short stories or short novellas was impossible for me to read - I quit about four pages in, feeling like I had been locked in a room with a bunch of awful people and then realizing I could just escape by closing the book.

The second story, however, is both beautiful and beautifully written, offering insight into the very strange world of someone who had served generations of Russian nobility and followed them into exile.
Sep 23, 2015 Fede rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I read a book written by Irène Némirovsky for the first time many years ago, and I vividly remember that I was struck by her writing style. I found it well developed and compelling, I felt immediately attracted by it. It is like it has the ability to speak directly to me in a way that it's not always easy to find in books.

These two short stories were the final confirmation that my first impression was right.
Le Bal is the one I liked the most. It was written in 1928 and I felt impressed by how
Lucile Barker
Feb 06, 2017 Lucile Barker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
11. Le Bal and Snow in Autumn by Irene Nemirovsky
These two stories are both rather depressing. In Le Bal, a precocious fourteen year old exacts a cruel revenge on her social climbing nouveau riche mother and father when they plan an elaborate ball that will not include her. One can feel some sympathy for Rosine, the mother, who is hiding her earlier lower class origins, even though she is a snob. I liked the second story, Snow in Autumn, better. An elderly Russian servant, Tatiana, guards a fami
Mar 20, 2013 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book has two parts, which are completely different stories, which I did not know at the beginning, because the blurb on the cover of the book only really talks about the first story in the book -Le Bal.
The text cover was a bit negative in the sense that it blames the daughter and calls the daughter vengeful and a bit evil
Having read the story, I understand the girl's behaviour.
The mother, Roisine Kampf, and her husband, Mr Kampf are planning to host a ball in their home, to mark their asce
Alexandra Corinth | My Book Grotto
I have read the first novella in this bind-up of two, "Le Bal." I hope to read "Snow in Autumn" soon, then review them both.
Marco den Ouden
Nov 04, 2016 Marco den Ouden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This a short book, two short stories, each about fifty pages long. Le Bal tells the story of an over-bearing mother and her 14 year of daughter. The family is nouveaux riche. The mother decides to throw a ball for the elite of French society. Her daughter desperately wants to attend but her mother won't have it.

The conflict between the two is skillfully drawn. Nemirovsky is a master of crisp and revealing dialogue. She has a keen insight into the way people think and gets into the heads of her
Apr 11, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Both of these short novellas were wonderful! Filled with Némirovsky’s beautiful, elegant style of writing and her ability to draw the reader into her stories, as if they were really there does not fail her in both short stories.

Le Bal, as a great story, filled with emotion, I felt so sorry for the poor little girl, who never felt love from her mother, the emotion pours of the pages, and you feel so much for her. Némirovsky was able to create such real and believable characters for this short sto
English Education
Antoinette grows up under the oppressive and strict discipline of her wealth Jewish parents (made so by the stock market) in Parisian, France society in the 20’s. Upon her parents deciding to throw a dance to build their reputation among their fellow aristocrats, she isn’t allowed to attend (and flaunt her beauty) but is instead scolded to sleep quietly in the closet. Compelled into a state of self-pity, youthful angst and maliciousness towards others she throws her parents invitations into the ...more
Jun 10, 2012 Lily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
[So this book was actually called La Symphonie de Paris, but I couldn't find it on the goodreads search]

I really enjoyed this! This is the second Irene Nemirovksy I've read, and it still gives me this kind of spooky feeling knowing htat I'm reading an unpublished manuscript. These short stories, according to the preface and my own powers of deduction, were written in a very cinematic style- that is lots of detailed visual description and even some weird "scene" changes in one story. I LOVED the
Mikael Kuoppala
Feb 07, 2012 Mikael Kuoppala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compact and poignant story about a family who try to enter the cream of the Paris socialites by throwing a party. The engineer of the event is the mother of the family, and the night of the party is being depicted through the narration of her teen aged daughter, who is denied even an appearance in the ball in fear of social embarrassment.

Iréne Némirovsky’s writing feels very modern even after 80 plus years, and the conflict between a superficial mother and her bitter daughter turns into pretty
Patricia Marie
May 11, 2016 Patricia Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
glad that I've came across with this book, its such a delicate and insightful reading about immature mind and feelings of a girl and a smart revenge and brilliant way she get her revenge on life. it was exactly what I was looking for, easy but complex, delightful and enjoyable. it is a short story to read in such a busy days but so rich! its a story about a girl and her world and an event about to happen, which is a ball, such a social event for rich people to interact which her mother is really ...more
Aug 15, 2011 Syrdarya rated it it was amazing
The Ball is a short story about a nouveau riche family in France. The parents decide to have a lavish ball, but the mother, who generally treats her 14-year-old daughter Antoinette rather badly, refuses to allow Antoinette to attend. Antoinette exacts her revenge in a terrible and yet funny way.

Snow in Autumn is the story of the Karine family and their exile to Paris during the Russian civil war. The story is told mostly from the point-of-view of the family's loyal and elderly nanny, Tatiana Iva
Shonna Froebel
Dec 17, 2012 Shonna Froebel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translations
These two novellas are strong stories,with most of the story within the protagonist's head. In Le Bal, a nouveau riche couple plan to hold their first ball, but don't include their young teen daughter in the invitations. As we look at things from young Antoinette's point of view as she exercises revenge for her mother's dismissive attitude, we see the desparation for acceptance of Madame Kampf, the relationship between the Kampf's and their social situation.
In the second story, we look at things
Dec 10, 2014 Lagullande rated it liked it
My second Nemirovsky. This one consists of two novellas. The first, Le Bal, concerns a nouveau riche couple who attempt to give their first ball, inviting all the movers and shakers of Paris in order to cement their social standing. However the wife has a very fractious (emotionally abusive?) relationship with her 14 year old daughter, whom she will not allow to attend the ball. Consequently her daughter decides to take revenge. If you tend to get embarrassed on behalf of others in socially awkw ...more
Aban (Aby)
Jul 17, 2010 Aban (Aby) rated it really liked it
Le Bal and Snow in Autumn are two novellas by Irene Nemirovsky, the author of Suite Francaise.

I didn't care much for Le Bal. It's the story of a nouveau riche family desperately trying to be accepted into high society. The mother . . . a crude, harsh, woman intends to hold a ball, but refuses to allow her daughter to attend. The language reflects the mother's character. I found it distasteful and jarring. Moreover, the mother's character was so one-dimensional! I rated this two star, nothing mor
Nick Tramdack
Apr 25, 2011 Nick Tramdack rated it really liked it
"It was at this moment, this fleeting moment that their paths crossed 'on life's journey'. One of them was about to ascend, the other to plunge downward into darkness. But neither of them realized it."

This collection of two novellas features some sharp psychological insight in a toxic haute-bourgeois setting. Check out the spinster piano teacher who immediately checks to see if her invitation to a ball is printed or engraved... amazing little details like this really sell the story.

I preferred "
Jul 23, 2011 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
Le Bal tells the story of a young girl, Antoinette Kampf, who lives with her parents in an opulent apartment in Paris. It wasn't always like this; the father had to work hard to amass his fortune, but he was determined to succeed. She has a difficult relationship with her mother, Rosine. Rosine has had a rather shady past, and is equally as determined as her husband to be "accepted" into French high society. To this end they plan a Ball. They invite all the titled and the rich of Paris, they spe ...more
Oct 13, 2012 Wayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: if you enjoy du Maupassant or sharp incisive writing
Recommended to Wayne by: other novels of Irene Nemirovsky's
These two contrasting novellas make perfect bookends.

Le Bal is a snapshot of a family which should never have been.

Its total dysfunction is revealed in its preparations for a shallow Parisian ball in the 1930's when its outsiders attempt to make their mark in a society which is obviously not worth joining.
The disaster which ensues is deliciously horrible.

Snow in Autumn is a languid but no less gripping tale of a family's escape from the Russian Revolution into outsider status in Paris, as seen t
Aug 28, 2014 Stephanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
When I finished reading Suite Francaise, I told myself I was going to read everything and anything Irene Nemirovsky had written. With Le Bal & Snow in Autumn, I'm starting to make good on that promise.

This book consists of two short novellas. The first one, Le Bal, is about a young teenager name Antoinette and her selfish, abusive mother. When her mother organizes a lavish ball to flaunt the family's new-found wealth, Antoinette makes a choice which will forever alter the family's destiny.
Jul 29, 2013 Julie rated it liked it
Recommended to Julie by: I read other works by Irene Nemirovsky
Shelves: fiction, translated, 2013
While lacking the punch of Suite Francaise or Fire in the Blood, these two novellas provide a snapshot of the lives of their characters. The family in "Le Bal" is certainly not sympathetic, but the story makes you feel like you've stepped into their living room to watch their atrocious behavior. "Snow in Autumn" looks quite empathetically at the travails of a Russian family fleeing the Revolution. There is little discussion of whether they were really part of the problem (ruthless Barines who mi ...more
LE BAL contains two short stories; 'Le Bal' and 'Snow in Autum.' 'Le Bal' was a fabulous short story, I loved the envy between mother and daughter and how it was resolved by a disastrous party - great! the latter half of this book contains a hard-to-top short 'Snow in Autum,' it was hard to relate to the characters as it was a bland story with nothing to offer, I realy wouldn't recommend this book to many people unless they were looking for a quick read without much to offer. Because of the 'Sno ...more
Two slight but vividly told novellas, which stick in the memory long after the book has been read. The titular story is a believable yet grotesque tale of humilation and revenge as a young girl comprehensively flattens the ambitions of her overbearing social climbing snob of a mother. The second novella is a moving account of an elderly woman's disrupted life during and after the Russian Revolution, building almost inevitably to a tragic end. These are dark stories, but there is a beauty and a s ...more
Two distinct and different pleasures from one of my favourite authors. The first is a vicious and delicious story of a woman desperate to announce that her family now had enough money to be welcomed by the Parisian elite. Her daughter, on the other hand, has other hopes. The second is simply beautiful. It paints an unforgettable portrait of a beloved nanny who follows a family of Russian 'barines' to exile in Paris. We realize that with her passing, the memory of an entire little world has vanis ...more
Nov 19, 2008 Denis rated it it was amazing
Two very different novellas written by a woman who is now being rediscovered all over the world. Both afre equally mesmerizing in different ways - the first one is an intimate, cruel family drama where an unloved daughter finds revenge in quite an unusual, the second is the melancholic portrait of a Russian family who has emigrated to France and can't quite adapt to its new life. Both are written with an intriguing mixture of irony and compassion, Nemirovsky always seem to feel a lot of tenderne ...more
Judy Mayhew
Dec 22, 2012 Judy Mayhew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book of two fairly long stories. The first one, Le Bal, is a gripping tale of a fourteen-year-old girl who seeks revenge against her mother. I found myself holdiong my breath as the story unfolded.

Snow in Autumn, the other story, is the sad account of a servant and the wealthy family she works for as they are forced from their home in Russia during the war. The family flees to Paris and the servant eventually follows, overwhelmed by her memories of the snow she loved.
Dec 31, 2010 Vivienne rated it really liked it

Two short novellas from Némirovsky. I enjoyed both. Knowing of the troubled relationship she had with her vain mother, the first story Le Bal does seem to be a little wish fulfilment.

I enjoyed the second story more as it was a bittersweet story from the perspective of an elderly peasant and her devotion to the family she serves.
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  • The Life of Irene Nemirovsky: 1903-1942
  • Early Short Stories, 1883-1888 (Modern Library)
  • Woman of Letters: Irene Nemirovsky and Suite Francaise
  • The Abruzzo Trilogy: Fontamara, Bread and Wine, The Seed Beneath the Snow
  • Adolphe
  • The Road: Stories, Journalism, and Essays
  • Katerina
  • Paris Was Yesterday, 1925-1939
  • The Dark Side: Tales of Terror and the Supernatural
  • The Little Man From Archangel
  • The Line
  • The Other Woman
  • Selected Letters
  • Port Tropique
  • The Waitress Was New
  • A Life of Her Own: The Transformation of a Countrywoman in 20th-Century France
  • Badjelly The Witch: A Fairy Story
  • Desert America: Boom and Bust in the New Old West
Irène Némirovsky (born February 11, 1903, Kiev, died August 17, 1942, Auschwitz, Poland) was a Jewish novelist and biographer born in the Ukraine, who lived and worked in France.

More about Irène Némirovsky...

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