The Years

WINNER OF THE 2022 NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE

Shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize

Considered by many to be the iconic French memoirist's defining work and a breakout bestseller when published in France in 2008

The Years is a personal narrative of the period 1941 to 2006 told through the lens of memory, impressions past and present—even projections into the future—photos, books, songs, radio, television and decades of advertising, headlines, contrasted with intimate conflicts and writing notes from 6 decades of diaries.

Local dialect, words of the times, slogans, brands and names for the ever-proliferating objects, are given voice here. The voice we recognize as the author's continually dissolves and re-emerges. Ernaux makes the passage of time palpable. Time itself, inexorable, narrates its own course, consigning all other narrators to anonymity. A new kind of autobiography emerges, at once subjective and impersonal, private and collective.

On its 2008 publication in France, The Years came as a surprise. Though Ernaux had for years been hailed as a beloved, bestselling and award-winning author, The Years was in many ways a departure: both an intimate memoir "written" by entire generations, and a story of generations telling a very personal story. Like the generation before hers, the narrator eschews the "I" for the "we" (or "they", or "one") as if collective life were inextricably intertwined with a private life that in her parents' generation ceased to exist. She writes of her parents' generation (and could be writing of her own book): "From a common fund of hunger and fear, everything was told in the "we" and impersonal pronouns."


Co-winner of the 2018 French-American Foundation Translation Prize in Nonfiction
Winner of the 2017 Marguerite Yourcenar Prize for her entire body of work
Winner of the 2016 Strega European Prize

Born in 1940, ANNIE ERNAUX grew up in Normandy, studied at Rouen University, and later taught high school. From 1977 to 2000, she was a professor at the Centre National d’Enseignement par Correspondance. Her books, in particular A Man’s Place and A Woman’s Story, have become contemporary classics in France. Ernaux won the prestigious Prix Renaudot for A Man's Placewhen it was first published in French in 1984, and the English edition became a New York Times Notable Book. Other New York Times Notable Books include Simple Passion and A Woman's Story, which was also a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist. 

Ernaux’s most recent work, The Years, has received the Françoise-Mauriac Prize of the French Academy, the Marguerite Duras Prize, the Strega European Prize, the French Language Prize, and the Télégramme Readers Prize. The English edition, translated by Alison L. Strayer, won the 31st Annual French-American Translation Prize for non-fiction and the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation and was shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. Her new book, A Girl's Story, will be out from Seven Stories in 2020.

ALISON STRAYER is a Canadian writer and translator. Her work has won the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation, and has been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, the Governor General's Award for Literature and for Translation, the Grand Prix du livre de Montreal, and the Prix litteraire France-Quebec. She lives in Paris.

ISBN: 9781609807870

ISBN-10: 9781609807870

Publisher: Seven Stories Press

Publication Date: 11/21/2017 - 12:00am

On Sale: 11/21/2017 - 12:00am

Pages: 240

Language: English

Categories

Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs

History / Europe / France

History / Social History