Jezebel by Irène Némirovsky (Suite Française) is a stunning novel about mothers and daughters, vengeance, and an aging, still beautiful woman on trial for shooting her lover. Gladys Eysenach is no longer young, but she remains striking, elegant, and cold. She is accused of shooting dead her much-younger lover. As the witnesses take the stand and the case unfolds, Gladys relives fragments of her past: her childhood, her absent father, her marriage, her turbulent relationship with her daughter, her decline, and then the final irrevocable act.
In her introduction to the novel, translator Sandra Smith discusses the parallels between Jezebel‘s main character and Irène Némirovsky’s own mother. Below, read Smith’s introduction as well as excerpt from the novel. Plus, download discussion resources for your reading group.
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