Monday, September 29, 2008

Suite Francaise

My current fiction read is Suite Francaise, an unfinished book written in 1940s France. The book was never completed because the author was sent to Auschwitz where she was murdered. Her daughters went into hiding and happened to take along the manuscript for Suite Francaise as they went. The daughters assumed it was a diary and avoided reading it for decades. Once they summoned the courage to read it, they found it was a novel of France in defeat and occupation, or at least the first two fifths of one. The novel was finally published in 2004.

Hearing a book is unfinished is a red flag for many. I suppose one of the greatest unfinished books that people actually read is Dicken's Mystery of Edwin Drood, which is about half way done. I suppose this could either intrigue or vex a reader who can never know how it will truly end. Dan Simmons is going to take a crack at it with his upcoming book Drood.

Suite Francaise was meant as a suite of novels rather than a fully integrated text, which means the two existing stories (or at least the first, which is far as I have gotten) can stand independently on their own. So don't let it stop you from checking this one out. More on it later

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