History of Violence
Edouard Louis, Lorin Stein
** Shortlisted for the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award **
The radical, urgent new novel from the author of The End of Eddy – a personal and powerful story of violence.
I met Reda on Christmas Eve 2012, at around four in the morning. He approached me in the street, and finally I invited him up to my apartment. He told me the story of his childhood and how his father had come to France, having fled Algeria.
We spent the rest of the night together, talking, laughing. At around 6 o’clock, he pulled out a gun and said he was going to kill me. He insulted me, strangled and raped me. The next day, the medical and legal proceedings began.
History of Violence retraces the story of that night, and looks at immigration, class, racism, desire and the effects of trauma in an attempt to understand a history of violence, its origins, its reasons and its causes.
‘It stays with you’ Times
‘A heartbreaking novel’ John Boyne
An intense and uncomfortably thrilling book, which uses the harrowing events of that Christmas Eve as a basis for a wider exploration of class, race and individualism... a novel that is unflinching in its examination of class and discrimination. -- Tash Aw * Times Literary Supplement * [A] heartbreaking novel... I find myself captivated by Edouard Louis's books and his raw honesty. -- John Boyne * Irish Times * [A] harrowing piece of autofiction... History of Violence is a slim but densely layered novel that begins with raw urgency. -- Johanna Thomas-Corr * The Times * [B]oth brave and ambitious in its determination never to let its reader, or its author, escape lightly the damaging realities it describes. -- Tim Adams * Observer * Louis's greatest strength as a writer is that he feels things so passionately, sometimes to the point of obsession, but that he also has a philosophical turn of mind that explores, rather than neutralises, his feelings. -- Edmund White * Guardian *
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