I think it’s really smart and ambitious that Ernaux decided to write memoir not only of her own life, but of her class and kind in France. It offers a priceless and fascinating view into the way the silent generation progressed through the years. It’s a great primer in recent French history, as well as a story of universal struggle of a leftist in a country with imperialist concerns and the omnipresent threat of the ultra-right. A wonderful read but ultimately horrifying because so little changes and yet the world’s pain grows along with its population.
The Years by Annie Érnaux
Translated from French by Alison L. Strayer
Published by Seven Stories Press in 2017