Shame (Paperback)
  • Shame (Paperback)
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Shame (Paperback)

(author), (translator)
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£9.99
Paperback 88 Pages
Published: 20/09/2023
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‘My father tried to kill my mother one Sunday in June, in the early afternoon.’ Thus begins Shame, the probing story of the twelve-year-old girl who will become the author herself, and the traumatic memory that will echo and resonate throughout her life. With the emotionally rich voice of great fiction and the analytical eye of a scientist, Annie Ernaux provides a powerful reflection on experience and the power of violent memory to endure through time, to determine the course of a life.

Publisher: Fitzcarraldo Editions
ISBN: 9781804270561
Number of pages: 88
Dimensions: 197 x 125 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

‘[Shame and The Young Man] deserve to be read widely. Her work is self-revealing, a series of pitiless auto-autopsies….Their disparate achievements work together to illuminate something perennially fascinating about Ernaux: her relationship to revelation and visibility. These are deeply intimate books, but in another way, Ernaux brings a disquieting impersonality to her project.’ — Megan Nolan, The Times

‘[E]xceptionally deft and precise, the very epitome of all that language can do…a surprisingly tender evocation of a bright, passionate and self-aware young girl growing up in her parents’ “cafe-haberdashery-grocery” in a small town in Normandy.’ — Julie Myerson, Observer

‘Annie Ernaux writes memoir with such generosity and vulnerable power that I find it difficult to separate my own memories from hers long after I’ve finished reading.’ — Catherine Lacey, author of Biography of X

‘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 Pure Colour

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

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

‘Across the ample particularities of over forty years and twenty-one books, almost all short, subject-driven memoirs, Ernaux has fundamentally destabilized and reinvented the genre in French literature.’ — Audrey Wollen, The Nation

‘It’s hard to fault a book that so elegantly and engagingly shows how… past horrors of varying scale can consciously and subconsciously affect someone…. [A] prescient and eminently readable book, as well as a great introduction to a giant of French literature.’ — India Lewis, The Arts Desk

‘A lesser writer would turn these experiences into misery memoirs, but Ernaux does not ask for our pity – or our admiration. It’s clear from the start that she doesn’t much care whether we like her or not, because she has no interest in herself as an individual entity. She is an emblematic daughter of emblematic French parents, part of an inevitable historical process, which includes breaking away. Her interest is in examining the breakage ... Ernaux is the betrayer and her father the betrayed: this is the narrative undertow that makes A Man’s Place so lacerating.’ — Frances Wilson, Telegraph (Praise for A Man's Place)

‘Not simply a short biography of man manacled to class assumptions, this is also, ironically, an exercise in the art of unsentimental writing ... The biography is also self-reflexive in its inquiry and suggests the question: what does it mean to contain a life within a number of pages?’ — Mia Colleran, Irish Times (Praise for A Man's Place)

‘Ernaux understands that writing about her parents is a form of betrayal. That she writes about their struggle to understand the middle-class literary world into which she has moved makes that betrayal all the more painful. But still she does it – and it is thrilling to read Ernaux working out, word by word, what she deems appropriate to include in each text. In being willing to show her discomfort, her disdain and her honest, careful consideration of the dilemmas of writing about real, lived lives, Ernaux has struck upon a bold new way to write memoir.’ — Ellen Peirson-Hagger, New Statesman (Praise for A Man's Place)

‘The triumph of Ernaux’s approach ... is to cherish commonplace emotions while elevating the banal expression of them ... A monument to passions that defy simple explanations.’ — New York Times (Praise for Simple Passion)

‘A work of lyrical precision and diamond-hard clarity.’ — New Yorker (Praise for Simple Passion)

‘I devoured – not once, but twice – Fitzcarraldo’s new English edition of Simple Passion, in which the great Annie Ernaux describes the suspended animation of a love affair with a man who is not free. Every paragraph, every word, brought me closer to a state of purest yearning...’ — Rachel Cooke, Observer (Praise for Simple Passion)

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“A gorgeous meditation”

Another work of Ernaux’s that just blew me away! Her characteristic examination of memory as well as of the titular theme of shame are mesmerising and her books always leaves me feeling both moved and intellectually... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 2

“A moving story about a childhood filled with shame”

I loved the descriptions of the author’s small hometown and what small town life was like in 50s France! The book could drag at times but it didn’t last very long. This is a short and quick read that can be finished... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 2

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