Books Abroad, The Global Women’s Caucus feminist reading group, is thrilled to end the year with a French writer, Annie Ernaux, who has won the 2022 Nobel Prize for literature.
Her novels are often based on personal memories, but they have universal themes- such as rising out of poverty, incest, education, the status of women, and other potent issues which are as relevant today as when she started writing them in the 1970s. Her telling stories gives us insights and touch the reading public in an intimate manner.
Unfortunately, not many of her many books have been translated into English. But luckily (for us), her short novel ‘”l’événement’” (in French) or “Happening “ (in English) was published in 2000 and has been translated into English. Our group will discuss this book on Sunday, January 8th.
The “Happening” takes place before women had the right to abortion in France. The author learns while she was a student at 23 that she is pregnant. Stricken with shame for herself and her family, she tries and fails to self-abort.
Annie Ernaux wrote this story 40 years after the fact, sifting through her memories in her journal entries and drawing out her deepest feelings and thoughts recalled from the bits and pieces of her then 40-year-old experience in a world that has changed.
Critics have pondered the choice of Annie Ernaux for the Nobel Prize for literature since her books are short, barely fictional accounts of her life experiences -her latest book is about her taking a much younger lover- written in a simple style accessible by all, which sometimes stumps intellectual critics.
In addition to giving attention to her seemingly simplistic style and her life experiences, many are asking, “What makes a Nobel Prize in Literature?”
Join us on Sunday, January 8, 2023, at 10 am EST/4 pm CET for what promises to be, as usual, a great discussion. RSVP to receive the Zoom link.