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Annie Ernoux: The Years


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Nobel Laureate in Literature, 2022


Translated from the French by Alison L. Strayer

Published 20 June 2018
Paperback  232 pages

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The Years is an earnest, fearless book, a Remembrance of Things Past for our age of media domination and consumerism, for our period of absolute commodity fetishism’

Edmund White, New York Times


Considered by many to be the iconic French memoirist’s defining work, The Years is a narrative of the period 1941 to 2006 told through the lens of memory, impressions past and present, cultural habits, language, photos, books, songs, radio, television, advertising and news headlines. Annie Ernaux invents a form that is subjective and impersonal, private and communal, and a new genre – the collective autobiography – in order to capture the passing of time. At the confluence of autofiction and sociology, The Years is a monumental account of twentieth-century French history as refracted through the life of one woman.

Annie Ernaux (b. 1940) grew up in Normandy, studied at Rouen University, and later taught at secondary school. From 1977 to 2000, she was a professor at the Centre National d’Enseignement par Correspondance. In 2017, Annie Ernaux was awarded the Marguerite Yourcenar Prize for her life’s work. In 2022, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Alison L. Strayer is a Canadian writer and translator. Her work has been shortlisted twice for the Governor General’s Award for Literature and for Translation, shortlisted for the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal and the Prix littéraire France-Québec, and longlisted for the Albertine Prize. She lives in Paris.


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