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The Life of Irene Nemirovsky: 1903-1942

3.41  ·  Rating Details  ·  103 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The first major biography of the author of Suite Française

The posthumous publication of Suite Française won Irène Némirovsky international acclaim and brought millions of readers to her work. But the story of her own life was no less dramatic and moving than her most powerful fiction.

With her family, she escaped Russia in 1919 and settled in Paris, where she met and marri
ebook, 464 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Knopf (first published 2007)
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May 20, 2013 Vicky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having now read 4 of Nemirosky's novels, after "discovering" Suite Francaise and the remarkable story of its publication, I found this biography very elucidating. All of her work is semi autobiographical and this book allows the reader to understand the life that found such an outlet in her novels. However, it was not the easiest read. I am not able to judge the translation from the French, but I can't but think it reads much more smoothly in the original language. It has been extremely well res ...more
May 08, 2012 Sheila rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
They should change the name of this book as "Irene Nemirovsky as seen through her writing." Barely 25% of this book is about Irene. I got no feeling for her or her family. On top of that that, and this may be the translators' fault, French words, titles and such, and French writers were thrown in like I should know who they are. I read lots of biographies and this is the worst on ever. I only finished it because I am very much interested in Irene as a person. I know what her fiction is like, I'v ...more
Nov 06, 2015 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky, I very much wanted to read a biography about the author. Although I skipped a lot of this, her life was utterly fascinating, living thru the Jewish pogroms and the Revolution in Russia, to end up a huge literary success in France. And then to be sent off to the death camps, Auschwitz in her case, by the French during the Occupation of France by the Germans. A horrifyingly sad, sad story.
Apr 03, 2012 Simona rated it it was amazing
Reputo questo libro preparatorio per avventurarsi nell'universo della Némirovsky.
In questa biografia scritta a quattro mani, anche grazie all'aiuto della figlia di Irène, Denise Epstein, si ripercorre la vita, le opere di questa scrittrice.
Dall'infanzia nella Russia imperiale e poi rivoluzioanria, che l'ha indotta a meditare, sino alla giovinezza dorata trascorsa a Parigi,l'evasione,lo studio alla Sorbona,la letteratura di Mauriac, Proust, Sand, Tolstoj considerato più umano rispetto a Dostoevs
Päivi Brink
Sep 28, 2012 Päivi Brink rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
My edition is by Livre de Poche and the writers are Philipponnat & Lienhardt. Easy-to-read, stories about her life in cronological order. The book tells about her life but in a way that it is relevant for understanding her books. It's amazing how much she achieved in the years 1929 - 1943. She needed to write a lot in order to survive, since she was the main breadwinner in the family. From the Russian revolution to the horrors of Auschwitz her life is tangled in with the big events of the 20 ...more
Aug 17, 2015 Elaine rated it really liked it
In recent months I have been reading a lot of the books that I had put on my "to read" shelf and I finally got to this one.
Although its title says the life of Irene Nemirovsky, it is also the "lives" of all her books and the characters, therein, so it is very encyclopedic in scope. Accompanying all of that are the events of the ages in which she lived starting with the pogroms of Russia and the struggles of her young life along with the difficulties to get to France for her mother and father an
Feb 22, 2011 Gail rated it did not like it
I thought this book would be interesting considering all of the hoopla with "Suite Francaise" (I never read it). Unfortunately, this was not the case. It's rather boring and I only lasted until page 130. It badly needs a good editor.
Oct 05, 2015 David rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers of Nemirovsky fiction
Full disclosure -- I didn't read this book cover-to-cover because I also was reading "Irene Nemirovsky: Her Life and Works," by Weiss, at the same time. The latter is a much shorter book and I finished that first and didn't have enough interest in Irene N. to slog through more similar material in this book. That being said, I wish I'd read this one first -- it's a better (and longer) book with a broader scope. If I'd started with this, I'd have read the whole thing.

The only Nemirovsky I'd read w
Kathleen Jones
Jun 09, 2013 Kathleen Jones rated it liked it
The tragic story of Irene Nemirovsky has fascinated me since I read Suite Francaise. I was working on the biography of Katherine Mansfield at the time and the knowledge that Irene had read and been influenced by Mansfield, and had been reading Katherine Mansfield’s diaries when she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz, gave me a deeper involvement in her work.

More recently I read her first, published novel, David Golder - an almost vicious portrait of her father and mother - and became more de
Oct 06, 2010 salinthebay rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Anyone who loved Nemirovsky's Suite Francaise will want to read this book. Her story was so extraordinary and her character strong . This biography is well researched with many many pages of long-lost notes. At times I felt the authors had an agenda regarding her perceived, and documented, glib attitude towards Jewish clannishness in early 20th cy Germany. But, this is well explained and Nemirovski emerges as a brilliant young woman who suffused the effects of a dysfunctional family...her mother ...more
The biography describes Irène Némirovskys life based on yet unpublished documents and papers. These might have been very personal but still - the authors sometimes make it sound as if they had been there in the moment. I find that a bit too involved and interpretative. The womans life was very impressive - and what the biography does is show the connections between her personal life and the wirtings. That in itself makes it very interesting to read - and it is also important to udnerstand how bi ...more
May 15, 2014 Susu rated it it was amazing
If you like Irène Némirovskys books, here's the guide to the autobiographical elements in her work.
Jan 03, 2011 Jenny rated it it was ok
I had a four-hour plane ride today to tackle this tome. Nemirovsky's writing is interesting enough in and of itself, but combined with her personal saga, she is an exceptionally fascinating character. Why, then, was this book so dull? It was originally published in French, so it's much more of a European-style compilation of literary criticism than the kind of page-turning biography we've become used to in the U.S. My advice: skip this and re-read Suite Francaise, including the publication notes ...more
Cooper Renner
Apr 02, 2012 Cooper Renner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fine biography of the excellent French author. Occasionally confusing to a reader like myself, who has little knowledge of 20th century French history and literature. But most essential of course is that you read Nemirovsky, especially Suite Francaise.
This book seared the brutality and mindlessness of the holocaust in my mind, through the tragic events in the life of a brilliant wrtier. My mistake was in not reading Nemirovsky's work before I read her biography.
Feb 16, 2012 Shelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very comprehensive study of the life and works of a fascinating writer who died at the young age of 39. Recommended to anyone who is familiar with her work.
Jun 16, 2011 Angelina rated it it was amazing
A fascinating read about a fascinating woman whose work is (unfortunately) often overlooked and in many cases entirely unknown.
Nov 16, 2013 Velvetink marked it as to-read
Shelves: biography, wishlist
Steven Monrad
Sep 18, 2010 Steven Monrad rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
Irritating style.
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