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The Young Man - Annie Ernaux

The Young Man

By: Annie Ernaux, Alison L. Strayer (Translator)

Paperback | 19 September 2023

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Annie Ernaux's most recent book published in France in 2022, now in English by her acclaimed translator Alison Strayer.

The diary of one of France's most important, award-winning writers during the 1990s when she had an affair with a man 30 years her junior.

In The Young Man, Ernaux recounts a relationship that made her become again--for several months--the "scandalous girl" of her younger years. This is a key text in the work of Annie Ernaux's relationship to time and writing.

This work of literary nonfiction is emblematic of the feminist and sociological thought in Annie Ernaux's Nobel Prize-winning body of work. The book takes place in Rouen, where Ernaux studied in the early 1960s, and begins in a student apartment, where A. lives--we only know her lover's initial. The windows of his apartment look out at the hospital where Ernaux experienced her secret abortion thirty years prior. A. takes the narrator back to memories her own youth and makes her feel ageless, outside of time--she has the sense that she is living her life backwards.

Here Ernaux again explores shame--she considers how A.'s friends ask him how he can be with a woman in menopause--and anticipation for their next encounter, quintessential and masterfully excavating themes from her previous books like Simple Passion and her New York Times bestseller Getting Lost.

About the Author

Annie Ernaux, winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature, is the author of some twenty works of fiction and memoir, winner of the Prix Renaudot for A Man's Place, and of the Marguerite Yourcenar Prize for her body of work. She is also the winner of the International Strega Prize and the French-American Translation Prize and shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize for The Years. In 2019 she was the recipient of the Prix Formentor. She is now considered to be France's most important literary voice, and is the first French woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Alison L. Strayer is a Canadian writer and translator. Her work has been shortlisted for the Governor General's Award for Literature and for Translation, the Grand Prix du livre de Montreal, and the Prix litteraire France-Quebec. She lives in Paris.

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