2017 Reading Goals – Irène Némirovsky Year-Long and Others

I came across Irene Nemirovsky in the most unexpected way.

the-mirador

I bought The Mirador by Élisabeth Gille earlier this year. It was an impulse buy – the book was on sale. Even though the title read ‘Dreamed Memories of Irène Némirovsky by Her Daughter’, having never heard of Irène Némirovsky before it meant very little to me at the time. Later I discovered that Irène Némirovsky is the renown author of Suite Française; a book I was aware of due to the 2014 movie.

irene-nemirovsky

It turned out Irène Némirovsky was yet another novelist whose life ended too soon during World War II. She was an Ukranian Jewish who had lived more than half of her life in France with her husband and two daughters, yet she and her husband were denied French citizenship during the war. When she was 39, she was arrested as a “stateless person of Jewish descent” by the Gestapo and was sent to Auschwitz where she died a month later of typhus. A few months after, her husband was also sent to the gas chambers in Auschwitz.

Élisabeth Gille, Irène Némirovsky’s youngest was only five years old when Irene was taken away. With no memories of her mother, Élisabeth Gille only had Irene Nemirovsky’s pictures, books Irène had written and her elder sister’s recounts of their parents. Hence, The Mirador is Élisabeth Gille’s “imagined memoir” about Irène Némirovsky – Gille’s attempt to understand her mother’s life and pay homage to the tragic enigma Irène Némirovsky was. Full of evocative writing, The Mirador left me in a melancholy mood after reading it and curious to know more about Irène Némirovsky.

What better way to find out about a writer than read his/ her books? Irène Némirovsky had been a successful writer in her day, although she was forgotten after her ill-fated death before being rediscovered in 2004. Some of her works have been translated and republished now, so I thought of spending 2017 focusing on her. This is the list of her books I have bought for this purpose (with original publication year – some had been published posthumously):

  • David Golder (1929)
  • Le Bal (1930)
  • The Misunderstanding (1930) (1924)
  • The Courilof Affair (1933)
  • The Wine of Solitude (1935)
  • Jezebel (1936)
  • The Dogs and the Wolves (1940)
  • All Our Worldly Goods (1947)
  • The Fires of Autumn (1957)
  • Dimanche and Other Stories (2000)
  • Suite Francaise (2004)
  • Fire in the Blood (2007)
2017-1

The Wine of Solitude and Suite Francaise are still on their way!

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I also want to read a book series in 2017 and for that, I have picked the Empire Trilogy by J. G. Farrell. No special reason behind the choice, except I will be able to tick off two books in the Man Booker Winners list! 😉 (The first two books in the trilogy, Troubles and The Siege of Krishnapur won 1970 Lost Man Booker Prize and 1973 Man Booker Prize, respectively)

2017-22017-3

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I really enjoyed the two short story collections I read this year. I liked the novel – short story balance I had, and plan on continuing the trend by reading a short story soon after I finish a novel. I have The Persephone Book of Short Stories by various authors, The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith, and Tenth of December by George Saunders lined up. The three books contain 52 short stories altogether, so that is a pretty decent goal! 😀

2017-4

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I am also thinking of reading a NYRB Classic and a vintage crime book every month, however, these are not concrete plans. I have only read eight NYRB Classics and most of them were remarkable reading experiences for me. As for vintage crimes, I have seen a lot of bloggers reading and raving of British Library Crime Classics and that is enticement enough!

That is all for now. 🙂

Wishing you all a fantastic 2017 full of lots of reading! Love, Nirmala

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12 comments

  1. ElizaABenson · · Reply

    I love the British Library Crime Classics and can highly reccomended them. I also love Clara Benson (no relation) who is a modern writer but writing in the 1920s/30s crime classics style

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the recommendation! I will check out Clara Benson’s books. 🙂 At the moment I’m reading a British Library Crime Classic – Thirteen Guests by J. Jefferson Farjeon.

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      1. ElizaABenson · · Reply

        That was the first British library crime classic I read and it started my love of them

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  2. […] Golder is the first book I read as a part of my Irène Némirovsky year-long project. David Golder is Irène’s second novel, but it is the one that first brought her […]

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  3. […] Bal, consisting of two novellas by Irène Némirovsky is the second book in my Irène Némirovsky year-long project. Le Bal proved to be the perfect pick after I read Ruby, as I was in need for some […]

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  4. […] since I am planning on reading Dimanche and Other Stories (Persephone Book #87) as a part of my Irène Némirovsky year-long project, I decided to skip it for now, which left me with The Photograph written in […]

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  5. What a great idea. I think I can count my ‘charity box’ books as part of a year-long-bookish project as well.
    As for Irene Nemirovsky, I happen to have her Suite novel at home… It was an add on sale at one of the Borders (long gone in Australia). It’s still on the shelf untouched… You gave me a nudge, thank you)))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah! I’m reading them in order they were published. So it’s going to be my November read! 😀 I’m glad I was able to give you a nudge. I’ve read two of her books now, and she is GOOOD! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well. I’m very much a polygamous reader))). My eye caught… ‘Slow Waltz For Turtles’))). Go figure

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  6. […] had me fooled (but honestly, I should have known better)! 😀 When I came up with the order for my Irène Némirovsky year-long project, I referred the publication years given on Wikipedia for Irène’s books. According to […]

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  7. […] Courilof Affair is the fourth book I read as a part of my Irène Némirovsky year-long project. I have mentioned this before – I believe that Irène Némirovsky’s inspiration […]

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  8. […] Wine of Solitude published in 1935 is the next up in my Irène Némirovsky year-long project, so I am giving away one paperback copy of the […]

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