David Golder, The Ball, Snow in Autumn, The Courilof Affair
Publication Date: January 15, 2008
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Readers everywhere were introduced to the work of Irène Némirovsky through the publication of her long-lost masterpiece, Suite Française. But Suite Française was only the coda to the brief yet remarkably prolific career of this nearly forgotten, magnificent novelist. Here in one volume are four of Némirovsky’s other novels–all of them newly translated by the award-winning Sandra Smith, and all, except DAVID GOLDER, available in English for the first time.
DAVID GOLDER is the novel that established Néirovsky’s reputation in France in 1929 when she was twenty-six. It is a novel about greed and lonliness, the story of a self-made business man, once wealthy, now suffering a breakdown as he nears the lonely end of his life. THE COURILOF AFFAIR tells the story of a Russian revolutionary living out his last days–and his recollections of his first infamous assassination. Also included are two short, gemlike novels: THE BALL, a pointed exploration of adolescence and the obsession with status among the bourgeoisie; and SNOW IN AUTUMN, an evocative tale of White Russian émigrés in Paris after the Russian Revolution.
Introduced by celebrated novelist Claire Messud, this collection of four spellbinding novels offers the same storytelling mastery, powerful clarity of language, and empathic grasp of human behavior that would give shape to Suite Française.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
Irène Némirovsky was born in Kiev in 1903 into a wealthy banking family and emigrated to France during the Russian Revolution. After attending the Sorbonne in Paris she began to write and swiftly achieved success with DAVID GOLDER, which was followed by more than a dozen other books. Throughout her lifetime she published widely in French newspapers and literary journals. She died in Auschwitz in 1942. More than sixty years later, Suite Française, was published posthumously, for the first time, in 2006.
Claire Messud is the award-winning author of four works of fiction: When the World Was Steady, The Hunters, The Last Life, and, most recently, The Emperor’s Children.
“Stunning . . . [Némirovsky] wrote, for all to read at last, some of the greatest, most humane and incisive fiction that conflict has produced.”
—New York Times Book Review
“Némirovsky’s scope is like that of Tolstoy: she sees the fullness of humanity and its tenuous arrangements and manages to put them together with a tone that is affectionate, patient, and relentlessly honest.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
“Extraordinary . . . Némirovsky achieve[s] her penetrating insights with Flaubertian objectivity.”
—The Washington Post Book World
“Brilliant . . . [Némirovsky wrote] with supreme lucidity [and] expressed with great emotional precision her understanding of the country that betrayed her.”
[Némirovsky had] an alert eye for self-deceit, a tender regard for the natural world, and a forlorn gift for describing the crumbling, sliding descent of an entire society into catastrophic disorder.”
—London Review of Books
“Transcendent, astonishing . . . Like Anne Frank, Irène Némirovsky was unaware . . . that she might not survive. And still, she writes to us.”
“A novelist of the very first order, perceptive and sly in her emotional restraint.”
—Evening Standard (London)