Annie Ernaux, Tanya Leslie
Taking the form of random journal entries over the course of seven years, Exteriors concentrates on the ephemeral encounters that take place just on the periphery of a person’s lived environment. Ernaux captures the feeling of contemporary living on the outskirts of Paris: poignantly lyrical, chaotic, and strangely alive. Exteriors is in many ways the most ecstatic of Ernaux’s books – the first in which she appears largely free of the haunting personal relationships she has written about so powerfully elsewhere, and the first in which she is able to leave the past behind her.
'Across the ample particularities of over forty years and twenty-one books, almost all short, subject-driven memoirs, Ernaux has fundamentally destabilized and reinvented the genre in French literature.' - Audrey Wollen, The Nation 'Admirable for its quiet grace as well as its audacity in a willingness to note (and thus make noteworthy) the smallest parts of life. It's a masterclass in understatement, a quality difficult to find nowadays, in literature or life.' - Lucy Sweeney-Byrne, Irish Times 'Annie Ernaux is one of my favorite contemporary writers, original and true. Always after reading one of her books, I walk around in her world for months.' - Sheila Heti, author of Motherhood 'Ernaux has inherited de Beauvoir's role of chronicler to a generation.' - Margaret Drabble, New Statesman 'I find her work extraordinary.' - Eimear McBride, author of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing '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 'Ernaux is an unusual memoirist: she distrusts her memory... Ernaux does not so much reveal the past - she does not pretend to have any authoritative access to it - as unpack it.' - Madeleine Schwartz, New Yorker
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