Wednesday, May 24, 2006


I finished "Suite Francaise" this morning and got so into writing about that I was nearly late for work.

You end it with a real feeling of heartbreak and triumph.

To read the absorbing and intimately detailed unfinished novel -- where so many descriptions have the breath of immediacy to them -- then to read Nemirovsky's notes on her epic-scale plans that would not be realized, then to read those desperate letters by her and her family in which they tried to stave off the machinations of Vichy France, and then to read the truly amazing story of how the manuscript was hidden away for decades, with even her children unaware of what exactly they had on their hands until one of them started transcribing it only a few years ago ... well, it all makes for a staggering literary experience.

To read it is experience resurrection. The book you are holding in your hands is a book that has been brought back from the dead.

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