A lost novel by a once-famous Jewish authoress who was murdered in Auschwitz is being hailed as the literary event of the year in France, not least because of the extraordinary and moving story that has finally led to its publication. \nSuite Francaise was written in 1942 as Irene Nemirovsky waited in rural France for what she knew was her imminent arrest and deportation. It is a powerful account of the effect on ordinary people of the military collapse of June 1940, the panicked flight from Paris and the arrival of the German army. \nDescribed by the publishing magazine Livres-Hebdo as the "most important novel of the year," it caused a sensation at the Frankfurt Book fair earlier this month, where after fierce bidding English language rights were snapped up for an undisclosed sum by Random House. \nThe novel has even been hailed as a French equivalant of Anne Frank's diary because of the rare authenticity with which it treats one of the most painful episodes in the country's modern history. \n"It could become one of the key books of France under the occupation. You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of works of this force that were written not after the war -- but right in the thick of it. From the literary as well as historic point of view, it is big news -- and a masterpiece," said Olivier Le Naire, literary editor of L'Express magazine. \nNemirovsky was born in 1903 into a family of rich Russian Jews who were forced to emigrate during the revolution. In Paris she studied at the Sorbonne and in 1929 shot to fame with her novel David Golder, which was followed over the next decade by more than 15 others. \nMultilingual and well-connected -- she counted Jean Cocteau among her acquaintances -- she led a charmed life, marrying Jewish businessman Michel Epstein and having two daughters Denise and Elisabeth. But with the war all changed. \nAbandoned by her friends and boycotted by the publishing industry for being Jewish, she and Epstein fled Paris in 1941 for the village of Issy-l'Eveque in southern Burgundy, where in a leather notebook she began to write out what she hoped would be a five-part epic on the aftermath of defeat. \nOn July 13, 1942 French police called at her home and arrested her. Deported to Auschwitz she died there the following month. Her husband wrote to the Vichy leader Philippe Petain asking for his help, but in October he too was arrested and later killed at Auschwitz. \nOne of Nemirovsky's last acts before her arrest was to entrust a suitcase containing photographs and family papers to her two daughters, who for two years travelled from safe house to safe house to avoid the attention of the French police. \nThree decades later Denise finally summoned up the courage to read the hidden notebook and was astonished to discover that it was not -- as she had supposed -- a diary, but the first two parts of the novel. She and her sister, who is now dead, then waited another quarter of a century before finally deciding to publish. \nSuite Francaise consists of a first section entitled June Storm which recounts the tangled stories of several families forced to flee northern France as the invading Germans approach. The pettiness and cruelty of the population is mercilessly exposed, as suffering rips away the veneer of respectability. \nIn part two -- Dolce -- Nemirovsky examines the compromises and moral confusion that ensue when a village is occupied by German soldiers. \nNow aged 74, Denise Epstein says the book is not just a novel. "Above all it is a log-book written by my mother through the dark years. All the people she writes about and takes such pains to create -- we knew them. All the situations -- we lived through them," she said. \n"During the 1930s my mother wanted to believe that France would defend the Jews. Afterwards she was for years seen just as a victim and her talent was forgotten. I hope this book will do justice to what she was above all else -- a writer," she said.
The media reported this week on another government stimulus program to make the birth rate rise. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that the budget for the government’s programs would reach NT$85 billion (US$3.05 billion) by 2023, and said that the government’s monthly subsidy for child support would rise from NT$3,500 to NT$5,000. These measures are a well-meaning attempt to address Taiwan’s globally low fertility and birth rates, but they are rather like poking a heart attack victim with a stick in the hope of reviving him. The problems driving the low birth rates are well known: the lack and cost of
May 3 to May 9 The Japanese soldiers thought they had already subjugated the Atayal when they set out toward the mountains of today’s eastern Taoyuan on May 5, 1907. The two brigades, one from the north and one from the south, were tasked with pushing the colonial government’s frontier defense lines deeper into Aboriginal territory to gain access to valuable camphor. “The defense lines were used to protect the economic activities, mainly camphor production, on the [Japanese] side of the line,” writes Wu Cheng-hsien (吳政憲) in the paper, “The Principle and Utilization of the Mortars on the Frontier Defense Lines”
Take a filet mignon and smother it in a mixture of thyme, shallots and chestnut mushrooms. Add a layer of prosciutto and finally wrap it up in a blanket of puff pastry. It’s a classic recipe for beef Wellington, a holiday showstopper at upscale restaurants from New York to London. But what started in England 200 years ago, has crept its way into Taiwan’s culinary scene. From high-end restaurants in Taipei to night markets in Taichung, beef Wellington is on the menu. “Customers are really curious about beef Wellington,” said Daniel Yang (楊士儀), chef and owner of Taichung’s Just Diner.
The fatal shootings of eight people — six of them women of Asian descent — at Georgia massage businesses in March propelled Claire Xu into action. Within days, she helped organize a rally condemning violence against Asian Americans that drew support from a broad group of activists, elected officials and community members. But her parents objected. “‘We don’t want you to do this,’” Xu, 31, recalled their telling her afterward. “‘You can write about stuff, but don’t get your face out there.’” The shootings and other recent attacks on Asian Americans have exposed a generational divide in the community. Many young activists