Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ten top lost-and-found novels

At The Daily Beast, Sarah Stodol tagged ten "novels that were lost to the world, along with the fascinating stories behind their journey back into the light," including:
Suite Française
by Irene Nemirovsky

Another lost novel whose story is laced with tragedy. Just before she was arrested and shipped off to Auschwitz, where she died a month later, Nemirovsky put the manuscript in a suitcase and gave it to her daughter, Denise, for safekeeping. Believing the manuscript to be a personal diary, Denise avoided reading it for three decades. Upon discovering she’d actually been holding onto a novel based on the very months leading up to her mother’s arrest, she still kept it under wraps for another 25 years. Her mother had been a famous writer in the 1930s after the publication of her first novel, David Golder. But as the war started, she was abandoned by friends and the public alike. Suite Française finally brought her back to renown with its publication in France in 2004 and subsequent English translation.
Read about another novel on the list.

Suite Française also appears among Max Hastings's ten best books on war, David Lodge's five best books about social class, and Howard Bloch's five best books about France.

--Marshal Zeringue