Happening - Ernaux, Annie

Happening

Annie Ernaux

Yayınevi: Fitzcarraldo Editions

Yayın tarihi: 02/2019

ISBN: 9781910695838

Yazar : Tanya Leslie

Karton Kapak | İngilizce |

Tür: ROMAN- ÖYKÜ

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Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2022

In 1963, Annie Ernaux, 23 and unattached, realizes she is pregnant. Shame arises in her like a plague: understanding that her pregnancy will mark her and her family as social failures, she knows she cannot keep that child. This is the story, written forty years later, of a trauma Ernaux never overcame. In a France where abortion was illegal, she attempted, in vain, to self-administer the abortion with a knitting needle. Fearful and desperate, she finally located an abortionist, and ends up in a hospital emergency ward where she nearly dies. In Happening, Ernaux sifts through her memories and her journal entries dating from those days. Clearly, cleanly, she gleans the meanings of her experience.

Irish Times Best Books of 2019

‘Universal, primeval and courageous, Happening is a fiercely dislocating, profoundly relevant work — as much of art as of human experience. It should be compulsory reading.’
— Catherine Taylor, Financial Times

‘Ernaux’s work is an attempt at truth. Not a narrative bend on truth, but an “endeavour to revisit every single image”. ... Ernaux’s work is important. Not just because of her subject matter, but because of the way she hands it over: the subtle contradictions; her dispassionate stoicism, mixed with savagery; her detailed telling, mixed with spare, fragmented text.’
— Niamh Donnelly, Irish Times

Happening is gripping and painfully inevitable to read – like a thriller. I felt close to Annie Duchesne, in her alone-ness, in a way I’ve rarely felt close to a character in a book. Women will be grateful to Ernaux for her wisdom, concision, and commitment to writing about death and life.’
— Daisy Hildyard, author of The Second Body

‘This short book … is one of the most powerful memoirs I have ever read. Ernaux is famed in France, and is gathering fame abroad ... as an autobiographer of unusual talent and insight, virtually creating (although she disavows the term) a genre called “autofiction”, a hybrid style mixing, as the name suggests, autobiography and fiction, although there is nothing in Happening that suggests any fictional element. This is the truth, as bare as it can be told, although every so often Ernaux reminds us, carefully, that memory is slippery.’
— Nicholas Lezard, Dhaka Tribune

‘Meticulous catalogs of longing, humiliation, class anxiety and emotional distress, Ernaux’s books are unsparing in detail, pitiless in tone. In contrast to those of so many of her confession-minded peers, her shock tactics feel principled, driven less by narcissism or the need for self-justification than by some loftier impulse: a desire to capture the past as it was, undistorted by faulty memories, moral judgments or decorative literary flourishes.’
— Emily Eakin, New York Times Book Review

‘An important, resonant work.’
— Publishers Weekly

‘…the book administers a punch beyond its slim size ... It is unflinching and honest, a frank patchwork of past and present experiences. … The title suits the subject: illegal abortion isn’t confined to history, suspended in aspic, a thing to be examined in the past tense. It is still hotly contested, demanding the present participle of Ernaux’s title.  … an essential document of trauma which deserves to be widely read.’
— Xenobe Purvis, Review 31

Praise for The Years

The Years is a revolution, not only in the art of autobiography but in art itself. Annie Ernaux’s book blends memories, dreams, facts and meditations into a unique evocation of the times in which we lived, and live.’
— John Banville, author of Mrs Osmond

‘One of the best books you’ll ever read.’
— Deborah Levy, author of Hot Milk

‘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 seething.’
— Edouard Louis, author of The End of Eddy

‘Ravishing and almost oracular with insight, Ernaux’s prose performs an extraordinary dance between collective and intimate, “big” history and private experience. The Years is a philosophical meditation paced as a rollercoaster ride through the decades. How we spend ourselves too quickly, how we reach for meaning but evade it, how to live, how to remember – these are Ernaux’s themes. I am desperate for more.’
— Kapka Kassabova, author of Border 

‘I admire the form she invented, mixing autobiography, history, sociology. The anxious interrogations on her defection, moving as she did from the dominated to the dominant classes. Her loyalty to her people, her fidelity to herself. The progressive depersonalisation of her work, culminating in the disappearance of the “I” in The Years, a book I must have read three or four times since its publication, even more impressed each time by its precision, its sweep and – I can’t think of any other word – its majesty. One of the few indisputably great books of contemporary literature.’
— Emmanuel Carrère, author of The Kingdom

‘Attentive, communal and genuinely new, Annie Ernaux’s The Years is an astonishing achievement.’
— Olivia Laing, author of Crudo

‘Annie Ernaux is long overdue to be recognised in Britain as one of the most important writers in contemporary France, and this edition of The Years ought to do the trick. Originally published there in 2008, it was immediately heralded as Ernaux’s masterpiece, her brief Remembrance of Things Past. It has been expertly rendered into English by Alison Strayer, who captures all the shadings of Ernaux’s prose, all its stops and starts, its changes in pace and in tone, its chatterings, its silences.’
— Lauren Elkin, Guardian

‘Towards the end of a long life, Ernaux has gained a long and communal perspective. She reminds us that we are material beings, and that we remember in and with the body. And our communal memory makes us part of one body.’
— Margaret Drabble, New Statesman

Born in 1940, Annie Ernaux grew up in Normandy, studied at Rouen University, and later taught at secondary school. From 1977 to 2000, she was a professor at the Centre National d’Enseignement par Correspondance. In 2017, Annie Ernaux was awarded the Marguerite Yourcenar Prize for her life’s work. In 2022, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Tanya Leslie was the first translator of Annie Ernaux into English and translated a number of her works, including A Woman’s Story (1991), A Man’s Place (1992), Simple Passion (1993), Shame (1998), I Remain in Darkness (1999), and Happening (2001), all for Seven Stories Press in the US. 

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