Thursday, September 24, 2009

How Sad!

. This week's Booking Through Thursday question asks what is the saddest book you have read recently. I'll go with Suite Francaises by Irene Némirovsky. The book includes two novellas set in occupied France during WWII. Both are compelling and polished stories, and not terribly sad in and of themselves. What makes the book so sad is that it does not contain the last three novellas that Némirovsky had planned for the series. Némirovsky was a Russian-born Jew who converted to Catholicism and lived in France, where she was a popular novelist and prominent figure on the Parisian literary arts scene. She had completed only the first two manuscripts before she was captured by the Nazis in 1942 and died in Auschwitz at 39. Her daughters, who escaped capture, were too traumatized by their mother's death to look at the manuscript she had left behind. Suite Francaises was not published until 60 years after Némirovsky's death. .

9 comments :

Bluestocking said...

That is sad! Here is mine

jlshall said...

I've got Suite Francaise on my TBR list, but I've been avoiding it mainly because of the sadness factor. Glad to know the stories aren't too terribly sad – maybe I'll get to them a little sooner now!

reviewsbylola said...

Suite Francaise is great! And very sad.

Booklogged said...

This was a sad story wasn't it?

Ali said...

Of all the BTT's I've happened upon, I think you win the prize for the saddest story. If only there was a prize.

Marie said...

I agree, the story behind Suite Francaise is sadder than the book itself.

Rose City Reader said...

I'm vowing to read only happy books this weekend to make up for revisiting Suite Francaise. :)

christine (booktumbling) said...

Wow, the circumstances around this author's work is extremely sad. Nice choice!

Michele Emrath said...

Sad is not quite the right word...There's a certain triumph in this story surviving the war. What a writer! What a heroine! Nemirovsky's characters find each other and lose each other in the midst of the most horrible occupation. How she weaves in the Germans and the different classes of French subjects is quite amazing. You can tell she is writing from experience, and, in some cases, disgust. Instead of seeing the absence of a finale, I like Nemirovsky's own words to the contrary. From her notes, the characters are "in limbo, and what limbo!"

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