what Annie Ernaux’s books have changed for them

When they heard the news on October 6, they were moved. Some have cried. For a literary award, it was the first time. Decorating 82-year-old Annie Ernaux with the Nobel Prize in Literature means, in a sense, recognizing their discreet lives. “It’s a bit ours thanks to her”says Martine Charreyron, 65, a retired Jura civil servant. Like her, about two hundred readers of the Worldof all ages and horizons, answered our request for testimonials on what the French author’s books represent for them: pages that have helped them find their place, words that, for fifty years, have accompanied in intimate and collective crossroads.

Read the image: Article reserved for our members Annie Ernaux, a Nobel laureate whose “I” says common experience

“It’s a bit like seeing my grandmother and her dubious French, my friends and their complicated love affairs, my former cashier colleagues come to light”, feels Lucie V. 25 years old, consultant in Paris. From a family “mean” from the east, preferred the young woman “lie, dream about someone else, be like that[elle] frequented “and got the impression that his life “deserved to be fictionalized”. Annie Ernaux’s books taught her to do this “accept yourself”, “to see the beauty in banality, in the ‘beauf’, in the errors of the French in the oral, in the fat dishes, in the rap”.

The writer, who participated in popularizing the term “class defector” – which he offered to those interested in thinking for themselves, but whose overuse bothered them – put the words to this “cloudy fog”L’“uprooting” social migration. Anthony Perronnet, a 28-year-old consultant, found “Comfort, tenderness, legitimacy”while he felt “rejected by [s]they are two worlds “with ” hate “ to his urban friends “having received too much” and to his parents for not him “They have given enough”. In the center, Annie Ernaux like “A friend in this crevice of loneliness”.

Read also (2019): Article reserved for our members Annie Ernaux, portrait of a social writer

“He reconciled me with myself”

Laura Leblanc, 31, agrégé in letters living in Paris, university professor in Argenteuil (Val-d’Oise), tells “the shame of being ashamed of those who [lui] he gave everything: love, trust “. And its “desire for social elevation” born from his readings, recognizing in Empty cabinets (Gallimardo, 1974) “the inability to [s]a mother, housekeeper, to master the subjunctive, the absence of books, the way of eating [s]they are parents “.

Read also: Article reserved for our members “Empty Cabinets”, by Annie Ernaux: spring revelation

Recognizing in The square (Gallimardo, 1983) his father – an illiterate worker, a farmer from his hometown -, Bina A., 38, employed in Seine-Saint-Denis who left school in 2fromhe understood the tensions arising from his marriage to a director of a car company, his feeling of having “betrayed” his. Daughter of a “Silent mother forced into silence” died -, Audrey Pellarin, 48, French teacher, found in “Literary mother who [l]‘allowed to speak’.

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