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5 key books by Annie Ernaux


Listed here are 5 books that secured Annie Ernaux’s place as one of many main voices of her technology in France and on Thursday, the Nobel Prize for Literature.

– ‘Cleaned Out’ –

Ernaux’s first novel, printed in 1974, recounted the abortion she underwent 10 years earlier whereas nonetheless a pupil.

Evenly fictionalised, it opens with a younger girl alone in her pupil dorm in Paris, feeling humiliation over a being pregnant that she fears will destroy her hopes of escaping a peasant background.

Some critics decried the outline of the abortion as obscene, however its fearlessness was groundbreaking.

Ernaux would return to the identical topic for her memoir “Taking place” in 2000, which was tailored into an award-winning movie in 2021.

– ‘A Frozen Lady’ –

Ernaux’s third guide analysed her life by means of the prism of gender, taking a look at her transformation from a younger lady filled with goals into an grownup frozen in place by societal calls for and patriarchal management.

The guide additionally recounted her life as a mom within the Seventies and her disintegrating marriage — three years earlier than the couple lastly divorced.

– ‘A Man’s Place’ –

Her first main prize got here for her 1983 novel “A Man’s Place”, which gained France’s Prix Renaudot.

It offers along with her conflicted emotions about transitioning from working class to bourgeois life, with Ernaux calling herself as “a category defector”.

She describes the chasm that grew between her and her mother and father — who ran a small cafe-shop in Normandy — after she entered a world of university-educated intellectuals.

– ‘The Years’ –

First printed in 2008, “The Years” is taken into account her masterpiece. It additionally introduced her better consideration internationally with a vastly profitable English translation that noticed her nominated for the Worldwide Booker Prize.

Ernaux makes use of her life story as a means of mapping the broader postwar technology in France, although the Algerian Struggle, sexual liberation, protests and popular culture of the second half of the twentieth century.

– ‘A Lady’s Story’ –

Writing in her 70s, Ernaux set off seeking her youthful self — “the lady of ’58”.

It’s the story of her first sexual expertise and a portrait of a younger lady from Normandy who knew nothing of life and had simply left the cocoon of her childhood.

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