Pamela Norris

The Young and the Old

Fire in the Blood

By

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Fire in the Blood was probably written during the two years Irène Némirovsky lived with her family in Issy-l’Evêque, a small village in southern Burgundy, before her deportation to Auschwitz in July 1942 and subsequent death from typhoid. Like Suite Française (winner of France’s prestigious Prix Renaudot in 2004), the manuscript for the novel – thirty densely written pages – was among the papers salvaged by Némirovsky’s young daughters when they fled the village after their father, too, was deported to Auschwitz. The novel, ably translated by Sandra Smith, is published in English for the first time this month.

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