The Dogs and the Wolves by Irène Némirovsky (Translated by Sandra Smith) - review by Caroline Moorehead

Caroline Moorehead

Against the Dying Light

The Dogs and the Wolves


Chatto & Windus 216pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Descriptions of scenes of mayhem, of people fleeing violence and political upheaval, of sudden brutality and frenzied fear, were always one of Irène Némirovsky’s great strengths as a writer. She was wonderful at capturing the sense of loss, the knowledge that nothing would or could ever be the same again, and she had a sure eye for the flaws in human nature, the layers of good and evil that lie in all of us. The intricacies of thought were what she loved, the way that ideas, memories and feelings play across the mind.

The Dogs and the Wolves was the last novel Némirovsky published in France before the Germans occupied the country in 1940 and she and her family joined the great exodus towards the south. The meaning of the title becomes clear only in the French – Les Chiens et

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter