Fiction and Truth Reading as a Reader, Reading as a Writer
Iwould point out that in the Iconic reading group teased me that I read these books as a writer, not purely as a reader. This is evident here in this post, I think... I did protest to them that this was true. I am indeed a writer!
Suite Francaise - really a suite of two novels which might have grown been three - was famously written by Irene Nemirovsky was what I was: a writer!during the German occupation of France before her removal in 1942 to Auschwitz and ultimate death. The rediscovery and publication of the work sixty five years later is a story in itself.
Irene - already a well known writer - embarked on the novel in the rural village of Issy-l'Eveque where she and her husband and two small daughters lived, having fled occupied Paris.
I have just finished writing my latest novel - to be called The Art of Retreating - partly set in Occupied France and partly in the present day, so had read dozens of scholarly histories, factual anecdotal memoirs and factual personal stories to get inside the particular experience of one of the six main characters - the aged writer Francine Costington.
I kept Suite Francaise - at the far side of my table - to read after I had finished writing my own novel. This was because, being fiction, this novel is essentially a secondary source; secondary sources are normally weak and can lead to thin storytelling and unconscious imitation..
It turns out though that t Suite Francaise relates intensely ...Read on.