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About the book
  • Published: 1 December 2008
  • ISBN: 9780099493983
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $24.99
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The Courilof Affair


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A masterpiece of early 20th-century literature

In 1903 Léon M – a devout terrorist – is given the responsibility of ‘liquidating’ Valerian Alexandrovitch Courilof, the notoriously brutal and cold-blooded Russian Minister of Education, by the Revolutionary Committee.The assassination, he is told, must take place in public and be in most grandiose manner possible in order to strike the imagination of the people. Posing as his newly appointed personal physician, Léon M takes up residence with Courilof in his summer house in the Iles and awaits instructions.

But over the course of his stay he is made privy to the inner world of Courilof – his failing health, his troubled domestic situation and, most importantly, the tyrannical grip that the Czar himself holds over all his Ministers, forcing them to obey him or suffer the most deadly punishments. Set during a period of radical upheaval in European history, The Courilof Affair is an unsparing observation of human motives and the abuses of power, an elegy to lost world and an unflinchingly topical cautionary tale.

  • Pub date: 1 December 2008
  • ISBN: 9780099493983
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Irène Némirovsky

Irène Némirovsky was born in Kiev in 1903, the daughter of a successful Jewish banker. In 1918 her family fled the Russian Revolution for France where she became a bestselling novelist, author of David Golder, All Our Worldly Goods, The Dogs and the Wolves and other works published in her lifetime or soon after, such as the posthumously published Suite Française and Fire in the Blood. She was prevented from publishing when the Germans occupied France and moved with her husband and two small daughters from Paris to the safety of the small village of Issy-l'Evêque (in German occupied territory). It was here that Irène began writing Suite Française. She died in Auschwitz in 1942.

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Praise for The Courilof Affair

“Nemirovsky not only unravels the machinations of a revolutionary mind, but rewrites historical events -the novel is based on a real assassination. Like Sartre and Camus, Nemirovsky paints a fictional picture that resonates deep in the contemporary mind, ensuring that terrorism is something more than just a moral and philosophical question”

Guardian


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