Master of Souls (Hardcover)

Master of Souls By Irène Némirovsky, Sandra Smith (Translated by) Cover Image
By Irène Némirovsky, Sandra Smith (Translated by)


From the celebrated author of the international bestseller Suite Française, a novel about ambition and greed set against the fabulously wealthy French aristocracy of the 1920s. 

A starving young immigrant doctor of Italian and Greek descent, Dario Asfar struggles to establish his practice, and is desperate to provide for his wife and newborn son. When the vulgar, self-indulgent French aristocrat Philippe Wardes dismisses his personal physician’s advice to abstain from alcohol and gambling, he turns to Dr. Asfar for a second opinion. Understanding the opportunity before him, Dario obliges Wardes, and others like him, knowing well that the rich want to eat of the forbidden fruit without paying for the sin. At first Dario’s plan is just for survival, but soon he begins to enjoy increasing rewards by selling himself as a master of souls who can miraculously cure restless minds, and in so doing sheds light on the lies we tell ourselves in the name of family and love.

About the Author

Irene Némirovsky was born in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1903 into a wealthy Jewish family. From there they moved to St. Peters-burg, Russia where she continued a life of privilege until the Bolshevik Revolution caused the family to emigrate to Fin-land, then to Sweden, and finally to France in 1919 where she immersed herself in the company of thinkers, artists, musi-cians and cultural elites as a part of the Parisian literati of her time.

Sixty-two years after her death, in 2004, Irene Némirovsky’s never-before-published Suite Française, a novel of France during the German Occupation, received the prestigious Prix Renaudot, and brought international acclaim to this gifted writer whose life was tragically lost in the Holocaust. She passed from typhus in 1942 in the Auschwitz concentration camp at the age of thirty-nine, leaving behind two young daughters and an enduring legacy in literature.

Sandra Smith was born and raised in New York City. As an undergraduate, she spent one year studying at the Sorbonne and fell in love with Paris. Immediately after finishing her BA, she was accepted to do a Master's Degree at New York University, in conjunction with the Sorbonne, and so lived in Paris for another year. After completing her MA, she moved to Cambridge, where she began supervising in 20th Century French Literature, Modern French Drama and Translation at the University. Soon afterwards, she was accepted to study for a PhD at Clare College, researching the Surrealist Theatre in France between the two World Wars. Sandra Smith taught French Literature and Language at Robinson College, University of Cambridge for many years and has been a guest lecturer and professor at Columbia University, Harvard and Sarah Lawrence College.

Literary/Translation Prizes for Suite Françoise:
  • Winner of the Pen Book of the Month Club Translation Prize (USA) 2006
  • Winner of the French-American Florence Gould Foundation Translation Prize (USA) 2007
  • The Quill Award, USA, shortlisted for Book of the Year 2006, General Fiction category. (The only book in translation shortlisted.)
  • Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize for Fiction 2006. Shortlisted.
  • Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize for Fiction 2006. Shortlisted.
  • British Book Awards: Border's Book of the Year 2006. Shortlisted.
  • The Oxford Weidenfeld Prize for French Translation. Shortlisted.
  • Independent Newspaper Foreign Fiction Prize: only open to living authors, so ineligible, but awarded a 'Special Commendation' by the panel 19 January 2007.

Praise For…

Early 20th century writing, especially translated from one language to another, can be challenging to read, but Nemirovsky’s story and Smith’s translation make Master of Souls fascinating and enjoyable.

— Judith Reveal - New York Journal of Books

Product Details
ISBN: 9781737832744
ISBN-10: 1737832747
Publisher: Kales Press
Publication Date: August 23rd, 2022
Pages: 234
Language: English
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