The Nobel Prize in Literature Book Club meets the last Sunday of each month. The facilitator is Diana McAninch, former owner of Door to Door Books in Algoma. Between 1901 and 2023, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded 116 times to 120 Laureates. We'll choose an author each month and read one title from their oeuvre.
Our first author is Annie Ernaux, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2022.
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2022
Born: 1 September 1940, Lillebonne, France
Residence at the time of the award: France
Prize motivation: “for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory”
In her writing, Annie Ernaux consistently and from different angles, examines a life marked by strong disparities regarding gender, language and class. Her path to authorship was long and arduous. Among her novels are ‘A Man's Place’, ‘A Woman's Story’ and ‘Years’. Ernaux's work is uncompromising and written in plain language, scraped clean. And when she with great courage and clinical acuity reveals the agony of the experience of class, describing shame, humiliation, jealousy or inability to see who you are, she has achieved something admirable and enduring.
About A WOMAN'S STORY: Upon her mother’s death from Alzheimer’s, Ernaux embarks on a daunting journey back through time, as she seeks to "capture the real woman, the one who existed independently from me, born on the outskirts of a small Normandy town, and who died in the geriatric ward of a hospital in the suburbs of Paris."
She explores the bond between mother and daughter, tenuous and unshakable at once, the alienating worlds that separate them, and the inescapable truth that we must lose the ones we love. In this quietly powerful tribute, Ernaux attempts to do her mother the greatest justice she can: to portray her as the individual she was. She writes, "I believe I am writing about my mother because it is my turn to bring her into the world."