A Woman's Story  (Paperback)
  • A Woman's Story  (Paperback)
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A Woman's Story (Paperback)

(author), (translator)
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£9.99
Paperback 72 Pages
Published: 10/04/2024
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Waterstones Says

Probing the ambiguities and contradictions between the author and her recently deceased mother, Ernaux's companion piece to A Man's Place is rich with profound insight and crisp, crystalline prose.

On 7 April 1986, Annie Ernaux’s mother, after years of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, died in a retirement home in the suburbs of Paris. Shocked by this loss which, despite her mother’s condition, she had refused to fathom, Ernaux embarks on a daunting journey back through time in an effort to recover the different facets of a woman whose openness to the world and appetite for reading created the conditions for the author’s own social ascent.

Mirroring A Man’s Place, in which she narrates her father’s slow rise to material comfort, A Woman’s Story explores the ambiguous and unshakeable bond between mother and daughter, its fluctuation over the course of their lives, the alienating worlds that separate them and the inescapable truth that we must lose the ones we love. In this quietly powerful tribute to the last thread connecting her to the world out of which she was born, Ernaux attempts to do her mother the greatest justice she can: to portray her as the individual she was.

Publisher: Fitzcarraldo Editions
ISBN: 9781804270943
Number of pages: 72
Dimensions: 197 x 125 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

‘Ernaux’s genius, here as elsewhere, is in using her own experiences to bring into consciousness our painful unknown knowns, through a deeply relatable, hyper-personal objectivity.’ — Lucy Sweeney Byrne, Irish Times

‘What emerges is something that verges on the mystical: Ernaux writes as though she is not writing but unearthing something that already exists.’ — Lucy Thynne, The London Magazine

‘The writing itself in A Woman’s Story is truly exquisite. Annie Ernaux is a master of the form: her crisp sentences and plain style manage to convey the story so clearly, leaving the reader in no doubt of its genuineness. At the same time, this purity of language transmutes the most difficult emotions with highly effective results.’ — Gosia Buzzanca, Buzz

‘The author of one of the most important oeuvres in French literature, Annie Ernaux’s work is as powerful as it is devastating, as subtle as it is seeting' — Edouard Louis, author of Change

‘Infinitely original. A Woman’s Story is every woman’s story. [Its] power rests not in the drama of its main event but in moments that might escape unnoticed, if not for a writer desperate to recapture every last image that her memory reluctantly yields of a lost loved one.’ — New York Times

‘[A] tender, tough and moving tribute to her mother’s life and death.… In this lovely short book Miss Ernaux attempts to explain – or, perhaps, merely to understand – the complex roots and blossoms of a mother/daughter relationship by describing the life of the mother she has just lost.’ — Washington Post

‘Ernaux has inherited de Beauvoir’s role of chronicler to a generation.’ — Margaret Drabble, New Statesman

‘Reading her is like getting to know a friend, the way they tell you about themselves over long conversations that sometimes take years, revealing things slowly, looping back to some parts of their life over and over.’ — Joanna Biggs, London Review of Books

‘Annie Ernaux is one of my favourite contemporary writers, original and true. Always after reading one of her books, I walk around in her world for months.’ — Sheila Heti, author of Alphabetical Diaries

‘I find her work extraordinary.’ — Eimear McBride, author of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing

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“As always, an impeccable read”

Ernaux is my favourite writer so naturally I am always simultaneously excited and terrified to read another one of her books: excited because I get to crawl inside a little aspect of her brain again and terrified in... More

Paperback edition
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