Returning to Reims
‘A deeply intelligent and searching book, one that makes you re-consider the narrative of your own life and reframe the story you tell yourself’ Hilary Mantel
A Guardian reader’s Best Book of 2018
“There was a question that had come to trouble me a bit earlier, once I had taken the first steps on this return journey to Reims… Why, when I have had such an intense experience of forms of shame related to class … why had it never occurred to me to take up this problem in a book?”
Returning to Reims is a breathtaking account of one man’s return to the town where he grew up after an absence of thirty years. It is a frank, fearlessly personal story of family, memory, identity and time lost. But it is also a sociologist’s view of what itmeans to grow up working class and then leave that class; of inequality and shifting political allegiances in an increasingly divided nation. A phenomenon in France and a huge bestseller in Germany, Didier Eribon has written the defining memoir of our times.
‘I was overwhelmed by this book. I felt I was reading the story of my life’ Edouard Louis, author of The End of Eddy
‘A book about self-invention and belonging’ Colm Toibin
Retour a Reims could be a novel. It has all the allure and attraction of one -- Claire Devarrieux * Liberation * This intensely personal account of Didier Eribon's family is a fascinating and compelling read...The book is beautifully written (and as beautifully translated). It is at once pleasureable and edifying to read * Joan W. Scott * An honest and moving personal narrative that is skilfully threaded through sociological and political analysis. I was captivated from beginning to end -- Diane Reay * author of Miseducation: Inequality, Education and the Working Classes * This is a beautiful book about suppression, losing touch with your roots, and regaining balance * Art in America * A powerful book and one that I enjoyed immensely -- Geoffrey Beattie * Irish Times * Eribon offers up a magnificent example of an enlightened life liberated by theory, written in a style that deftly moves between the intimate, the social and the political -- Annie Ernaux Eribon's memoir is fascinating: full of fretful honesty, battling with shame around his background and shame at being ashamed -- The Times Hypnotic ... a gripping read * Daily Telegraph * A stunning book -- vital and important -- Andrew McMillan This is a self-excoriating memoir... [Eribon] writes as someone who has scrubbed hard at the markings of destiny -- Marina Benjamin * New Statesman * Returning to Reims played a capital role in my life... I was overwhelmed by this book. I felt I was reading the story of my life. -- Edouard Louis A deeply intelligent and searching book, one that makes you re-consider the narrative of your own life and reframe the story you tell yourself... Didier Eribon understands how deep the roots of inequality go -- Hilary Mantel A brilliant little book...a touching memoir of sexual awakening, and a gallery of philosophical ideas and characters -- Steven Poole * The Observer *
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