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. .

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