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Annie Ernaux

Annie Ernaux
Ernaux in 2017
Ernaux in 2017
BornAnnie Thérèse Blanche Duchesne
(1940-09-01) 1 September 1940 (age 83)
Lillebonne, France
Education
Notable awardsNobel Prize in Literature (2022)
Spouse
Philippe Ernaux
(div. 1980)
Children2
Website
annie-ernaux.org

Annie Thérèse Blanche Ernaux (née Duchesne; born 1 September 1940) is a French writer who was awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature "for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory".[1][2] Her literary work, mostly autobiographical, maintains close links with sociology.[3]

Early life and education

Ernaux was born in Lillebonne in Normandy, France, and grew up in nearby Yvetot,[4] where her parents, Blanche (Dumenil) and Alphonse Duchesne,[5] ran a café and grocery in a working-class part of town.[6][7] In 1960, she travelled to London, where she worked as an au pair, an experience she would later relate in 2016's Mémoire de fille (A Girl's Story).[7] Upon returning to France, she studied at the universities of Rouen and then Bordeaux, qualified as a schoolteacher, and earned a higher degree in modern literature in 1971. She worked for a time on a thesis project, unfinished, on Pierre de Marivaux.[8]

In the early 1970s, Ernaux taught at a lycée in Bonneville, Haute-Savoie,[9] at the college of Évire in Annecy-le-Vieux, then in Pontoise, before joining the National Centre for Distance Education,[10] where she was employed for 23 years.[11]

Literary career

Ernaux started her literary career in 1974 with Les Armoires vides (Cleaned Out), an autobiographical novel. In 1984, she won the Renaudot Prize for another of her works La Place (A Man's Place), an autobiographical narrative focusing on her relationship with her father and her experiences growing up in a small town in France, and her subsequent process of moving into adulthood and away from her parents' place and her class of origin.[12][13]

Early in her career, Ernaux turned from fiction to focus on autobiography.[14] Her work combines historic and individual experiences. She charts her parents' social progression (La Place, La Honte),[15] her teenage years (Ce qu'ils disent ou rien), her marriage (La Femme gelée),[16] her passionate affair with an Eastern European man (Passion simple),[17] her abortion (L'Événement),[18] Alzheimer's disease (Je ne suis pas sortie de ma nuit),[19] the death of her mother (Une femme), and breast cancer (L'usage de la photo).[20] Ernaux also wrote L'écriture comme un couteau (Writing as Sharp as a Knife) with Frédéric-Yves Jeannet.[20]

A Woman's Story (Une femme), A Man's Place, and Simple Passion were recognised as The New York Times Notable Books,[21] and A Woman's Story was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.[22] Shame was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1998,[23] I Remain in Darkness a Top Memoir of 1999 by The Washington Post, and The Possession was listed as a Top Ten Book of 2008 by More magazine.[24]

Ernaux's 2008 historical memoir Les Années (The Years), well received by French critics, is considered by many to be her magnum opus.[25] In this book, Ernaux writes about herself in the third person ('elle', or 'she' in English) for the first time, providing a vivid look at French society just after the Second World War until the early 2000s.[26] It is the story of a woman and of the evolving society she lived in. The Years won the 2008 Prix François-Mauriac de la région Aquitaine [fr],[27] the 2008 Marguerite Duras Prize,[28] the 2008 Prix de la langue française, the 2009 Télégramme Readers Prize, and the 2016 Strega European Prize. Translated by Alison L. Strayer, The Years was a finalist for the 31st Annual French-American Foundation Translation Prize, was nominated for the International Booker Prize in 2019,[29] and won the 2019 Warwick Prize for Women in Translation.[11][30] Her popularity in anglophone countries increased sharply after The Years was shortlisted for the International Booker.[31]

On 6 October 2022, it was announced that Ernaux would be awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature[32][33] "for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory".[1] Ernaux is the 16th French writer, and the first Frenchwoman, to receive the literature prize.[32] In congratulating her, the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, said that she was the voice "of the freedom of women and of the forgotten".[32]

Many of Ernaux's works have been translated into English and published by Fitzcarraldo Editions and Seven Stories Press. Ernaux is one of the seven founding authors from whom the latter Press takes its name.[31]

Political activism

Ernaux supported Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the 2012 French presidential election.[34] In 2018, Ernaux expressed her support for the yellow vests protests.[35]

Ernaux has repeatedly indicated her support for the BDS movement, a Palestinian-led campaign promoting boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.[36] In 2018, the author signed a letter alongside about 80 other artists that opposed the holding of the Israel–France cross-cultural season by the Israeli and French governments. In 2019, Ernaux signed a letter calling on a French state-owned broadcasting network not to air the Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Israel that year.[37] In 2021, after the Operation Guardian of the Walls, she signed another letter that called Israel an apartheid state, claiming that "To frame this as a war between two equal sides is false and misleading. Israel is the colonizing power. Palestine is colonized."[36]

Ernaux signed a letter that supported the release of Georges Abdallah, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1982 for the assassination of an American military attaché, Lt. Col. Charles R. Ray, and an Israeli diplomat, Yacov Barsimantov. According to the letter, the victims were "active Mossad and CIA agents, while Abdallah fought for the Palestinian people and against colonization".[36]

Following the announcement of the award of the Nobel Prize, Ernaux showed solidarity with people's uprising in Iran against their government. The protests that followed the death of a young woman in the custody of Guidance Patrol (Morality Police) initially started against compulsory hijab law in Iran but soon took a broader focus on liberty. Ernaux said in an interview she was "absolutely in favour of women revolting against this absolute constraint".[38][39]

Personal life

Ernaux was previously married to Philippe Ernaux, with whom she has two sons, Éric (born in 1964) and David (born in 1968).[40] The couple divorced in 1981.[41]

She has been a resident of Cergy-Pontoise, a new town in the Paris suburbs, since the mid-1970s.[7][42]

Works

  • Les Armoires vides, Paris: Gallimard, 1974; Gallimard, 1984, ISBN 978-2-07-037600-1
  • Ce qu'ils disent ou rien, Paris: Gallimard, 1977; French & European Publications, Incorporated, 1989, ISBN 978-0-7859-2655-9
  • La Femme gelée, Paris: Gallimard, 1981; French & European Publications, Incorporated, 1987, ISBN 978-0-7859-2535-4
  • La Place, Paris: Gallimard, 1983; Distribooks Inc, 1992, ISBN 978-2-07-037722-0
  • Une Femme, Paris: Gallimard, 1988
  • Passion simple, Paris: Gallimard, 1991; Gallimard, 1993, ISBN 978-2-07-038840-0
  • Journal du dehors, Paris: Gallimard, 1993
  • La Honte, Paris: Gallimard, 1997[43]
  • Je ne suis pas sortie de ma nuit, Paris: Gallimard, 1997
  • La Vie extérieure : 1993–1999, Paris: Gallimard, 2000
    • Things Seen. Translated by Jonathan Kaplansky. University of Nebraska Press. 2010. ISBN 978-0803228153.
  • L'Événement, Paris: Gallimard, 2000, ISBN 978-2-07-075801-2
  • Se perdre, Paris: Gallimard, 2001
    • Getting Lost, translator Allison L. Strayer, Seven Stories Press, 2022
  • L'Occupation, Paris: Gallimard, 2002
  • L'Usage de la photo, with Marc Marie, Paris: Gallimard, 2005
  • Les Années, Paris: Gallimard, 2008, ISBN 978-2-07-077922-2[44]
  • L'Autre fille, Paris: Nil 2011 ISBN 978-2-84111-539-6
  • L'Atelier noir, Paris: éditions des Busclats, 2011
  • Écrire la vie, Paris: Gallimard, 2011
  • Retour à Yvetot, éditions du Mauconduit, 2013
  • Regarde les lumières mon amour, Seuil, 2014
    • Look at the Lights, My Love. Translated by Alison L. Strayer. Yale University Press. 2023. ISBN 978-0300268218.
  • Mémoire de fille, Gallimard, 2016
    • A Girl's Story. Translated by Alison L. Strayer. Seven Stories Press. 2020. ISBN 978-1609809515.
  • Hôtel Casanova, Gallimard Folio, 2020
  • Le jeune homme, Gallimard, 2022

Adaptations

In addition to numerous theatrical and radio adaptations,[45][46][47][48] Ernaux's novels have been adapted for the cinema on three occasions:

Awards and distinctions

The Prix Annie-Ernaux, of which she is the "godmother", bears her name.[62]

References

  1. ^ a b c "The Nobel Prize in Literature 2022". The Nobel Prize (Press release). 6 October 2022. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  2. ^ "About – Annie Ernaux". www.annie-ernaux.org. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  3. ^ Ulin, David L. (21 January 2018). "Unorthodox snapshots of life". Los Angeles Times. p. F10. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 5 October 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Annie Ernaux". Auteurs contemporains. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  5. ^ Mhainnín, Máire Áine Ní (9 December 2019). "'Il aurait peut-être préféré avoir une autre fille': Paternal Mourning in the Work of Annie Ernaux". Irish Journal of French Studies. 19 (1): 107–122. doi:10.7173/164913319827945765. S2CID 213019883. Archived from the original on 13 October 2022. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  6. ^ Elkin, Lauren (26 October 2018). "Bad Genre: Annie Ernaux, Autofiction, and Finding a Voice". The Paris Review. Archived from the original on 9 August 2022. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  7. ^ a b c "Biography". annie-ernaux.org. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  8. ^ Leménager, Grégoire (15 December 2011). "Annie Ernaux : 'Je voulais venger ma race'". L'Obs (in French). Archived from the original on 29 January 2022. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  9. ^ Héloïse Kolebka (2008). "Annie Ernaux : "Je ne suis qu'histoire"". L'Histoire (332): 18. ISSN 0182-2411. Archived from the original on 4 May 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2019..
  10. ^ Annie Ernaux Archived 5 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Cercle-enseignement.com. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Annie Ernaux wins the Nobel prize in literature for 2022". The Economist. 6 October 2022. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  12. ^ Ferniot, Christine (1 November 2005). "1983 : La place par Annie Ernaux". L'EXPRESS (in French). Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  13. ^ Schwartz, Christine (24 May 1992). "The Prodigal Daughter". Newsday. Long Island, N.Y. p. 35. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "Annie Ernaux. Les Années". Le Télégramme (in French). 3 May 2009. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  15. ^ Spafford, Roz (13 July 1992). "Finding the World Between Two Parents". San Francisco Examiner. p. 5 – Review. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ Castro, Jan Garden (27 August 1995). "Pitfalls, Trials Of Womanhood". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 5C. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ Hale, Mike (3 September 1994). "'Simple Passion' gets to the heart of obsession". Boston Globe. p. 71. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ Reynolds, Susan Salter (30 September 2001). "Discoveries". Los Angeles Times. p. 11-Book Review. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ Bernstein, Richard (28 November 1999). "'Darkness' a look at final illness". Tallahassee Democrat. p. 2D. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ a b "People / Personnalités / Annie Ernaux". Elle (in French). 6 May 2009. Archived from the original on 25 November 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  21. ^ "A 'great honour' and 'responsibility': Annie Ernaux on her Nobel prize win". Mint. 6 October 2022. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  22. ^ "1991 Los Angeles Times Book Prize – Fiction Winner and Nominees". Awards Archive. 25 March 2020. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  23. ^ Introduction & Overview of Shame. BookRags. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  24. ^ Mutha, Snehal (6 October 2022). "Who Is Annie Ernaux ? A Nobel Prize Winner For Literature". SheThePeople. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  25. ^ Peras, Delphine (11 February 2010). "Les Années par Annie Ernaux". L'EXPRESS (in French). Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  26. ^ Laurin, Danielle (3 April 2008). "Autobiographie : Les années: le livre d'une vie" (in French). CBC/Radio-Canada. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  27. ^ "Prix François Mauriac". aquitaine.fr (in French). 18 October 2014. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016.
  28. ^ "Prix Marguerite Duras". Association Marguerite Duras (in French). Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  29. ^ "Annie Ernaux | The Booker Prizes". thebookerprizes.com. September 1940. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  30. ^ "Winner announced for the 2019 Warwick Prize for Women in Translation". University of Warwick. 21 November 2019. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  31. ^ a b Shaffi, Sarah (6 October 2022). "Annie Ernaux wins the 2022 Nobel prize in literature". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  32. ^ a b c Bushby, Helen (6 October 2022). "Annie Ernaux: French writer wins Nobel Prize in Literature". BBC News. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  33. ^ "French author Annie Ernaux wins 2022 Nobel Prize for Literature". Onmanorama. 6 October 2022. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  34. ^ Grosjean, Blandine (10 December 2011). "Annie Ernaux: 'Passion amoureuse et révolte politique, cela va de pair'". Le Nouvel Observateur (in French). Archived from the original on 10 October 2022. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  35. ^ Pelletier, Willy; Noiriel, Gérard; Larrère, Mathilde; Romagnan, Barbara; Delphy, Christine; De Cock, Laurence; Chevrier, Stéphanie; Chamoiseau, Patrick; Boursier, Philippe; Bidet, Jacques; Ernaux, Annie (4 December 2018). "Gilets jaunes, verts, rouges, roses, convergeons !". Libération. Archived from the original on 8 October 2022. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  36. ^ a b c Joffre, Tzvi (6 October 2022). "New Nobel laureate Annie Ernaux's repeatedly supported BDS". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  37. ^ "2022 Nobel Prize in Literature winner Annie Ernaux a longtime critic of 'apartheid' Israel". The New Arab. 7 October 2022. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  38. ^ "حمایت برنده نوبل ادبیات از زنان ایران: پوشش اجباری حکومتی "محدودیت مطلق" است". صدای آمریکا (in Persian). 7 October 2022. Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  39. ^ "Nobel Winner Annie Ernaux Vows To 'Continue Fight Against Injustice'". Barron's. AFP – Agence France Presse. 6 October 2022. Retrieved 16 October 2022.
  40. ^ "Les Années Super-8 d'Annie Ernaux et David Ernaux-Briot". ActuaLitté. 29 July 2022. Archived from the original on 21 September 2022. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  41. ^ Cassivi, Marc (24 May 2022). "Les années filmées d'Annie Ernaux". La Presse. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  42. ^ "La Cergyssoise Annie Ernaux décroche le prix Nobel de littérature". actu.fr. 6 October 2022. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  43. ^ Tison, Jean-Pierre (1 February 1997). "Critique: Annie dans l'arrière-boutique". L'EXPRESS (in French). Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  44. ^ Massoutre, Guylaine (19 April 2008). "Littérature française – La chronique douce-amère d'Annie Ernaux". Le Devoir (in French). Archived from the original on 9 September 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  45. ^ Agency, Hands. "Mémoire de fille". Mémoire de fille. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  46. ^ "'L'occupation'". visitmonaco.com. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  47. ^ "L'Autre fille". theatre-cornouaille.fr. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  48. ^ "'Les Années' d'Annie Ernaux: un podcast à écouter en ligne". France Culture. 25 May 2016. Archived from the original on 10 October 2022. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  49. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (11 September 2021). "Venice Film Festival: 'L'Événement' Wins Golden Lion, 'Hand Of God' Takes Grand Jury Prize, Jane Campion Best Director, Penelope Cruz Best Actress, Maggie Gyllenhaal Best Screenplay – Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 12 September 2021. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  50. ^ "The films of the Official Selection 2020". Cannes Film Festival. 3 June 2020. Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  51. ^ Ronnie Scheib (19 September 2008). "Review: 'The Other One'". Variety. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  52. ^ a b "2022 Nobel Literature laureate is French author Annie Ernaux who believes in 'the liberating force of writing'". Times Now. 6 October 2022. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  53. ^ a b c "Annie Ernaux". Premio Strega (in Italian). Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  54. ^ "Prix de la Langue Française" [French Language Award] (in French). Prix Littéraires. Archived from the original on 24 October 2021.
  55. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 2022: Annie Ernaux, bearing witness to women's experiences and memory". The Indian Express. 7 October 2022. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  56. ^ "Prix Marguerite Yourcenar 2017 : Annie Ernaux". Scam (in French). 30 November 2017. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  57. ^ "Albo d'oro". premiohemingway.it. Secretariat of the Award at the Municipality of Lignano Sabbiadoro. Archived from the original on 8 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  58. ^ Verdu, Daniel (6 May 2019). "La escritora Annie Ernaux gana el Premio Formentor". El País (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 6 May 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  59. ^ "Ernaux vince il premio Von Rezzori 2019". L'orma editore (in Italian). Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  60. ^ "The Years, Written by Annie Ernaux". The Booker Prize Foundation. 20 June 2018. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  61. ^ "Inaugural RSL International Writers Announced". Royal Society of Literature. 30 November 2021. Archived from the original on 25 December 2021. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  62. ^ "Le prix Annie Ernaux 2003". signets.org. Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2022.

Further reading

  • Loraine Day, Writing Shame and Desire: The Work of Annie Ernaux, Peter Lang, 2007
  • Alison Fell, Ernaux: La Place and La Honte; Grant and Cutler, Critical Guides to French Studies, 2006.
  • Alison Fell and Edward Welch, "Annie Ernaux: Socio-Ethnographer of Contemporary France", Nottingham French Studies, June 2009.
  • Pierre-Louis Fort (ed.), Annie Ernaux, L'Herne, 2022.
  • Elise Hugueny-Léger, Annie Ernaux, une poétique de la transgression, Peter Lang, 2009.
  • Siobhán McIlvanney, Annie Ernaux, The Return to Origins, Liverpool University Press, 2001.
  • Lyn Thomas, Annie Ernaux: An Introduction to the Writer and her Audience, Berg, 1999.
  • Lyn Thomas, Annie Ernaux, à la première personne, Stock, 2005.
  • Lyn Thomas, "Voix blanche? Annie Ernaux, French feminisms and the challenge of intersectionality", in M. Atack, A. Fell, D.Holmes and I. Long (eds) Making Waves: French Feminisms and their Legacies 1975–2015.; Liverpool University Press, 2019, p. 201–214.
  • S. J. McIlvanney, "Gendering mimesis. Realism and feminism in the works of Annie Ernaux and Claire Etcherelli". Graduate thesis, University of Oxford 1994 EThOS uk.bl.ethos.601153
  • Sarah Elizabeth Cant, "Self-referentiality and the works of Annie Ernaux, Patrick Modiano, and Daniel Pennac". Thesis, University of Oxford, 2000 EThOS uk.bl.ethos.327374
  • Georges Gaillard, "Traumatisme, solitude et auto-engendrement. Annie Ernaux: L'événement". Filigrane, écoutes psychothérapiques, 15, 1. Montréal, Spring 2006 ISSN 1192-1412 en ligne; ISSN 1911-4656 doi:10.7202/013530AR p. 67–86.
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