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Review: Dimanche and Other Stories, by Irene Nemirovsky


Pages: 270

Original date of publication: 1934-1941

My edition: 2010 (Persephone)

Why I decided to read: it’s a Persephone!

How I acquired my copy: Persephone website, April 2010

Dimanche and Other Stories is a collection of ten stories, some very short, some much longer. Irene Nemirovsky’s stories focus on average, everyday people in France just before and during WWII, when these stories were published. Love, in all its forms, is an overriding theme of this book, but Nemirovsky’s collection is also about the diametric differences in social situations of her characters.

I’ll be honest and say straight away that I really didn’t like Suite Francaise when it was reprinted a number of years ago, although everyone else was raving about it. I just thought it was to depressing. In this collection of short stories, Nemirovsky deals with the same topics and themes, but for some reason I much preferred this book to her other. Nemirovsky is skilled at highlighting and putting under a microscope the relationships between people. All of her characters, from housewives to teenagers, from Christians to Jews, from rich people to poor, and from soldiers to civilians, are fantastic, even though Nemirovsky only had limited space to write about them in. The contrasts between her characters are frequently bittersweet. Irene Nemirovsky was a fantastic writer; I’m not sure that I fully appreciate the depth of her writing.

This is Persephone no. 87. Endpaper above.

Comments

Teddy Rose said…
Suite Francaise was not a favorite of mine either. I do like short stories and will have to take a look at this collection.

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2015 Reading

January
1. The Vanishing Witch, by Karen Maitland
2. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
3. Texts From Jane Eyre, by Mallory Ortberg
4. Brighton Rock, by Graham Green
5. Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey
6. Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
7. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
8. A Movable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
9. A Room of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf
10. Other Voices, Other Rooms, by Truman Capote
11. Maggie-Now, by Betty Smith

February
1. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
3. Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate, by Cynthia Lee
4. Music For Chameleons, by Truman Capote
5. Peyton Place, by Grace Metalious
6. Unrequited, by Lisa Phillips
7. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
8. A Lost Lady, by Willa Cather

March
1. Persuasion, by Jane Austen
2. Love With a Chance of Drowning, by Torre DeRoche
3. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4. Miss Buncle's Book, by DE Stevenson
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garc…