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
Annie Ernaux a publie son premier roman Les armoires vides en 1974. Couronnee par le prix Renaudot en 1984 pour La place, elle est notamment l'auteur d'Une femme (1988), de Passion simple (1992) et de La honte (1997), parus aux editions Gallimard.
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. The recipient of numerous grants and honors, 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.