Annie Ernaux's father died exactly two months after she passed her practical examination for a teaching certificate. Barely educated and valued since childhood strictly for his labor, Ernaux's father had grown into a hard, practical man who showed his family little affection. Narrating his slow ascent towards material comfort, Ernaux's cold observation reveals the shame that haunted her father throughout his life. She scrutinizes the importance he attributed to manners and language that came so unnaturally to him as he struggled to provide for his family with a grocery store and cafe in rural France. Over the course of the book, Ernaux grows up to become the uncompromising observer now familiar to the world, while her father matures into old age with a staid appreciation for life as it is and for a daughter he cautiously, even reluctantly admires. A Man's Place is the companion book to her critically acclaimed memoir about her mother, A Woman's Story.
About the Author
Neea Lillebonne Annie Ernaux a passe sa jeunesse en Normandie.Agregee de Lettres, elle a enseigne a Annecy et a Pontoise avant de poursuivre sa cariere au CNED et de publier, en 1974, son premier livre, "Les armoires vides". Tres vie, elle delaisse la fiction pour se consacrer au materiel autobiographique que lui offrent son enfance dans le cafe-epicerie familial d'Yvetot, ("La Place", Prix Renaudot 1984, "La Honte"), son adolescence ("Ce qui'ils disent ou rien"), son mariage ("La Femme gelee"), son avortement ("L'Evenement"), la maladie puis la mort de sa mere ("Je ne suis pas sortie de ma nuit," "Une femme") et la passion amoureuse ("Se perdre", "Passion simple"). De facon singuliere, elle introduit dans la litterature le regard et la voix du monde populaire qui a ete le sien, donnant a une oeuvre tout entiere autobiographique une dimension collective, qui s'elargit en recit d'une generation dans "Les Annees", prix Marguerite Duras et prix Francois Mauriac en 2008.
Tanya Leslie also translated Eranux's Simple Passion, Exteriors, Shame, "I Remain in Darkness," and Happening. Leslie lives in Paris.
Francine Prose is the author of twenty works of fiction. Her novel A Changed Man won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Blue Angel was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent works of nonfiction include the highly acclaimed Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. The recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Guggenheim and a Fulbright, a Director's Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, Prose is a former president of PEN American Center, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her most recent book is Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932. She lives in New York City.