On a member of the Resistance helping a nightclub owner escape occupied Paris:
…We talked about the war. About the scenes we’d witnessed and couldn’t get out of our minds… I wish our conversation could have been recorded. I found it intensely interesting: the jabbering of two women high on Nazi amphetamines and the prospect of freedom. But maybe it would have sounded like those tedious postwar novels about beatnik road trips through the American West…
This book is a stunner, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Now a little bit from the author on fiction versus non-fiction and in particular, her preparation for this novel — marvelous. From the Paris Review:
Fact-checking is so boring compared to writing fiction. I don’t mind writing articles, that’s fine. I am working on a novel now that began as nonfiction. It takes place in France between 1924 and 1944, and a French person said to me, “You know you are going to have to spend years in the Bibliothèque nationale checking all the facts?” And I thought, “No I’m not.” I decided to do it as a novel. And it is heaven compared to spending all that time in the Bibliothèque nationale.