The radical and urgent new novel from the author of The End of Eddy
I met Reda on Christmas Eve 2012. I was going home after a meal with friends, at around four in the morning. He approached me in the street, and finally I invited him up to my apartment. He told me the story of his childhood and how his father had come to France, having fled Algeria.
We spent the rest of the night together, talking, laughing. At around 6 o'clock, he pulled out a gun and said he was going to kill me. He insulted me, strangled and raped me. The next day, the medical and legal proceedings began.
History of Violence retraces the story of that night, and looks at immigration, dispossession, racism, desire and the effects of trauma in an attempt to understand, and to outline, a history of violence, its origins, its reasons and its causes.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 346 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 23 mm
[B]oth brave and ambitious in its determination never to let its reader, or its author, escape lightly the damaging realities it describes. -- Tim Adams * Observer *
[A] harrowing piece of autofiction... History of Violence is a slim but densely layered novel that begins with raw urgency. -- Johanna Thomas-Corr * The Times *
[A] heartbreaking novel... I find myself captivated by Edouard Louis's books and his raw honesty. -- John Boyne * Irish Times *
An intense and uncomfortably thrilling book, which uses the harrowing events of that Christmas Eve as a basis for a wider exploration of class, race and individualism... a novel that is unflinching in its examination of class and discrimination. -- Tash Aw * Times Literary Supplement *
[Louis] writes with this amazing honesty and fantastically uncensored, brutal, beautiful clarity. -- Ben Whishaw * Another Man *
A painful and astonishing book, it tells the story of that night and its aftermath with ruthless poise and clinical precision... With almost superhuman compassion and moral courage, Louis traces the origins of Reda's suffering by reconstructing his father's story. -- Matt Rowland Hill * Literary Review *
History of Violence...pack[s] total immersion and cool detachment into a single page. As translator, Lorin Stein keeps faith with its rawness - and its refinement. -- Boyd Tonkin * Financial Times *
[A] provocative, incendiary and stunning second book. * Vice UK *
Once more, Edouard Louis has given us something unique; a book so direct, shocking and moving it is like holding live fire in one's hands as the pages turn. Like all great writers, he shows us something of the self so that we might better understand something of the world. -- Andrew McMillan
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