Annie Ernaux

portrait annie ernaux

Annie Ernaux (born in 1940) is a French writer. She won the Prix Renaudot in 1984 for her book La Place, an autobiographical narrative focusing on her relationship with her father and her experiences growing up in a small town in France, and her subsequent process of moving into adulthood and away from her parents’ place of origin. She charts her parents’ social progression (La place, La honte), her adolescence (Ce qu’ils disent ou rien), her marriage (La femme gelée), her passionate affair with an eastern European man (“Simple Passion”) her abortion (L’événement), Alzheimer’s disease (Je ne suis pas sortie de ma nuit), the death of her mother (Une femme) and breast cancer (L’usage de la photo). Her latest novel Les années (2008) is considered her ‘magnum opus’ and was very well received by the French critics. In this latter book Ernaux writes of herself in third person point of view (elle) for the first time. She gives a vivid look at French society from after Second World War until today.

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