‘The Fires of Autumn’ was written in the last two years of Irène Némirovsky’s life, after she fled Paris in 1940. The prequel to her masterpiece, ‘Suite Française’, it is a panoramic exploration of French life and a witness to the greatest horrors of the twentieth century. After four years of bloody warfare Bernard Jacquelain returns from the trenches a changed man.
Irene Nemirovsky was born in Kiev in 1903, the daughter of a successful Jewish banker. In 1918 her family fled the Russian Revolution for France where she became a bestselling novelist, author of David Golder, All Our Worldly Goods, The Dogs and the Wolves, Suite Francaise and Fire in the Blood among others. She was prevented from publishing when the Germans occupied France and moved with her husband and two small daughters from Paris to the safety of the small village of Issy-l’Eveque (in German occupied territory). It was here that she began writing Suite Francaise. She died in Auschwitz in 1942.
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