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14th March 2022

Irène Némirovsky was born in Kiev, 

Her father, Leonid (Aryeh) Nemirovsky was a bank official, who was born in Yelysavethrad. His family came from Nemyriv in the Podillia region, where there was a large Jewish community. 

When the anti-Jewish pogroms began, Irène and her parents moved to St. Petersburg in 1914, and in 1917 to Moscow, farther away from the political turbulence in the capital. However, after the Bolsheviks came to power, they were forced to flee to the West: in December 1918 to Finland, then Sweden and France, where they arrived in the summer of 1919 when Irène was 16.  The short stories in Dimanche were written in the 1930s and very early 1940s. One reader wrote to us last week saying that the scenes of refugees fleeing Ukraine reminded her very much of the descriptions in Suite Francaise and in the short stories we publish eg. 'Monsieur Rose'. (Dimanche is reprinting, but if you ring the shop you will find that we do have about twenty copies for the persistent.)

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