la place annie ernaux

A Man’s Place

In this novel, La Place (in French), Ernaux tells the real story of her childhood. Ernaux’s parents were simple folk, running a café in the French countryside, sure of their lives and their roles and trying to make something better for their daughter. Their daughter becomes a teacher and moves into an intellectual world completely alien to that of her parents. Her parents mean well and do right, but a gulf opens between daughter and parents that cannot be bridged, even by such retrospective considerations as Ernaux repeatedly undertakes in her writing. Ernaux’s frustration at being unable to bridge this gap lends much of the strength to the book.

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