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6+ Works 251 Membros 7 Críticas

About the Author

Obras por Elisabeth Gille

Associated Works

The World of Leonardo, 1452-1519 (1966) — Tradutor, algumas edições608 exemplares
Of Men and Monsters (1968) — Tradutor, algumas edições397 exemplares
Planet Story (1979) — Tradutor, algumas edições64 exemplares
Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology (2007) — Contribuidor — 25 exemplares
La vieille forêt: nouvelles (1992) — Tradutor, algumas edições2 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Nome canónico
Gille, Elisabeth
Nome legal
Epstein, Elisabeth Leone
Outros nomes
Gille, Elisabeth
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
País (no mapa)
Local de nascimento
7e arrondissement, Paris, Île-de-France, France
Local de falecimento
20e arrondissement, Paris, Île-de-France, France
Holocaust survivor
Nemirovsky, Irene (mother)
Epstein, Denise (sister)
Editions Denoël (Directrice littéraire)
Editions Flammarion (Directrice littéraire)
Editions Rivage (Directrice littéraire)

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Élisabeth Gille, born Élisabeth Epstein in Paris, was a French translator and writer best-known for Le Mirador: Mémoires rêvés (1992), her biography of her mother Irène Némirovsky. Élisabeth was the younger daughter of Némirovsky, a French-Russian-Jewish émigré writer who achieved significant success as a novelist in the 1930s, and her husband Michel Epstein. The couple were deported separately from France during World War II by the Nazis to the Auschwitz death camp in 1942; neither returned. Némirovsky's novels fell into obscurity, but in 2004, her Suite française, which had remained until then in manuscript form, was published for the first time. It became a bestseller and the renewed interest in the author led in 2011 to the English translation of Gille’s biography as The Mirador: Dreamed Memories of Irène Némirovsky by Her Daughter. Élisabeth also wrote the novel Un paysage de cendres (literal meaning, A Landscape of Ashes, but titled Shadows of a Childhood in English, 1996), a fictionalized account of her experiences as a Jewish child hidden during the German Occupation and then adopted by non-Jewish Resistance fighters. That work portrayed the incomplete understanding of the specificity of the Holocaust even among those sympathetic to its victims. She also wrote about her battle with cancer in Le Crabe sur la banquette arrière (The Crab on the Back Seat, 1994).



This book was a huge surprise to me. I have read Suite Francaise but not any of Nemirovsky's other works, and was unaware of this work by her daughter. Read with #nyrbwomen23

A very moving, sad, and fascinating memoir/biography of Irène Némirovsky written by the daughter who was 5 at the time her mother was arrested. When Gille wrote this, she was middle-aged and had outlived her mother by a decade.

While this is "imagined"--and is the kind of thing that usually bothers me--it is not unsourced. Gille had her mother's journals as well as novels at her disposal, as well as the works of others (all cited in the Acknowledgements), as well as the memory of her sister, who was 7 years older and had many more memories.

This is so well done, and is both fascinating and hard to read as the reader already knows where it goes. I am sure it was incredibly difficult to write as well. Gille wrote this knowing her parents' naivete (though not her grandfather's--Nemirovsky's father intended to leave for New York and wanted their family to go also, but unexpectedly died before he could leave), and writing it out as she did must have been incredibly difficult but also perhaps cathartic in some way.
… (mais)
Dreesie | 3 outras críticas | Aug 13, 2023 |
Inspirat en la seva història i la de la seva germana quant van deportar els seus pares.
marialluisa | 1 outra crítica | Sep 26, 2016 |
Interesting, certainly, and well-written. Yet in a way it felt like being in an old historical building that had been "restored" to its original condition - it might look exactly the same as it used to, but the walls aren't the same walls, the floors aren't the same floors, and the furniture isn't the same furniture. It might be a faithful reproduction, but it isn't authentic.

"In passages where, in another writer's work, we might be overly conscious of the will of the creator, here we are conscious only of the exigencies of the characters. Nothing more clearly reveals the gift of the storyteller." -Jean-Pierre Maxence, on Nemirovsky's writing (193-194)

"To leave this world? But what awaits me?
What could it be, this life beyond?
I would like to go away...But would it be an ending?
This nuisance of a soul, could it be immortal?"
-Tristan Bernard (204)
… (mais)
1 vote
JennyArch | 3 outras críticas | Apr 3, 2013 |
This elegant book is a fictional memoir of the famous author Irene Nemirovsky written by her daughter, Elisabeth Gille. Nemirovsky was born to a rich family in Kiev, moved to Saint Petersburg and later Moscow, came of age during the tumult of the revolution and finally settled with her family in France. Her books were very popular and much lauded in France and she married and had two daughters. However, because she was Jewish, her friends and admirers began turning on her in the 30’s and 40’s. Irene and her husband Michel were arrested and deported in 1942; both died. Her two children were hidden by friends and survived.

Gille’s Irene is bookish and intelligent but at times selfish and heedless. She loves her caring but perpetually busy father and has an antagonistic relationship with her materialistic mother. The neglectful, greedy mother looms large in Nemirovsky’s fiction and Gille portrays her as a social climbing, frivolous monster. It’s a work of fiction so I don’t know if her mother actually begged Irene to have an abortion so she wouldn’t become a grandmother, but after the war, she turned away her daughter’s orphaned girls and tried to send them to a home for indigent children. The sheltered young Irene quietly rebels by reading inappropriate books and dragging her governesses all over the city, occasionally getting caught in riots. Some of the descriptions of the cities and historical events feel a touch studied, the mentions of Nemirovksy’s books can be a bit obvious and once in a while Gille’s language is overly lyrical but for the most part the prose is elegant and the characterization of Irene is skillful. As the family falls into worrisome circumstances due to the unstable political situation, Irene runs wild. The hedonistic atmosphere of the young people contrasts with the hushed attitude of their parents and seems to infect Irene for much of her life. The first part is written by Irene in 1926 and has a happy ending – her family settled in France, she becomes something of a Francophile, happily marries and finds success with her novel David Golder.

The second part is written by Irene in 1942, when the situation in France was dire for Jews. It’s terribly depressing to read about how Irene’s former friends and publishers coldly ignored her plight or piled fuel into the anti-Semitic fire. Gille has Irene criticizing her former self and aware of the danger but sure that the France that she loves will protect her. In an interview, Gille expresses anger that her mother didn’t leave France when she had the opportunity and this is clearly her way of dealing with it. Irene is forced to confront her Jewish identity head on for the first time. She had a complicated relationship with her identity – it was an accepted fact during her childhood (there were things the family couldn’t do) but not important or observed. As a writer, the focus was more on her Russian roots. Later on, she would criticize Jews who didn’t assimilate in France and wasn’t sure she really wanted a stream of German Jews coming to France. Gille presents a nuanced, not always sympathetic view of Irene here. However, Irene's weaknesses are dwarfed by the impending doom that hangs over the whole section.

While I thought this was a good book, there was something that kept me from being fully engaged – possibly the distance that deliberately or accidentally is inserted into the narrative. This would have been a difficult book to write and Gille notes at the beginning that this was a book that had to be written – she couldn’t stop imagining her mother’s life. She pairs Irene’s story with short paragraphs about her childhood during and after the war. The sometimes too-detailed parts of Irene’s narrative – long descriptions of the cities at the time, Irene’s meetings with history, a large number of cited books – never quite let me forget the author behind the book.
… (mais)
2 vote
DieFledermaus | 3 outras críticas | Mar 25, 2012 |


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