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- Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature 2022 (Sweden)
- Fitzcarraldo Editions
- Alison L Strayer
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Getting Lost - WINNER OF THE 2022 NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATUREav Annie Ernaux164
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Getting Lost is the diary kept by Annie Ernaux during the year and a half she had a secret love affair with a younger, married man, an attache to the Soviet embassy in Paris. Her novel, Simple Passion, was based on this affair, but here her writing is immediate and unfiltered. In these diaries it is 1989 and Annie is divorced with two grown sons, living in the suburbs of Paris and nearing fifty. Her lover escapes the city to see her there and Ernaux seems to survive only in expectation of these encounters. She cannot write, she trudges distractedly through her various other commitments in the world, she awaits his next call; she lives merely to feel desire and for the next rendezvous. When he is gone and the moment of desire has faded, she feels that she is a step closer to death. Lauded for her spare prose, Ernaux here removes all artifice, her writing pared down to its most naked and vulnerable. Translated brilliantly for the first time by Alison L. Strayer, Getting Lost is a haunting record of a woman in the grips of love, desire and despair.
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'Like Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary, Ernaux's affair should be counted as one of the great liaisons of literature.... I suspect the book will become a kind of totem for lovers: a manual to help them find their centre when, like Ernaux, they are lost in love. All her books have the quality of saving frail human details from oblivion. Together they tell, in fragments, the story of a woman in the twentieth century who has lived fully, sought out pain and happiness equally and then committed her findings truthfully on paper. Her life is our inheritance.' - Ankita Chakraborty, Guardian 'The almost primitive directness of her voice is bracing. It's as if she's carving each sentence onto the surface of a table with a knife.... Getting Lost is a feverish book. It's about being impaled by desire, and about the things human beings want, as opposed to the things for which they settle... it's one of those books about loneliness that, on every page, makes you feel less alone.' - Dwight Garner, New York Times 'Ernaux has once more created a living document of existential terror and hope.' - Catherine Taylor, Irish Times 'With Getting Lost, Annie Ernaux goes for broke. The bed, the site of her pleasure, is to her what the gaming table is to the gambler, the bottle to the alcoholic, the syringe to the addict. The nexus of all danger. The goal is not, as she seems to believe and tries to make us believe, the necessity of passion: it is in reality only a pretext for her to risk her life.' - Martine de Rabaudy, L'Express 'From the very first lines, we feel ourselves, like her, caught up in the vertigo of waiting, obsessed by the telephone that never rings, time that passes too quickly and the meetings that become less frequent. Love, death and literature are constantly intertwined in this story that plunges us into the intimacy of a couple, without ever giving us the impression of being voyeurs.' - Pascale Frey, ELLE 'Reading her is like getting to know a friend, the way they tell you about themselves over long conversations that sometimes take years, revealing things slowly, looping back to some parts of their life over and over.' - Joanna Biggs, London Review of Books 'Annie Ernaux is one of my favorite contemporary writers, original and true. Always after reading one of her books, I walk around in her world for months.' - Sheila Heti, author of Motherhood 'I find her work extraordinary.' - Eimear McBride, author of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing 'Ernaux has inherited de Beauvoir's role of chronicler to a generation.' - Margaret Drabble, New Statesman 'Across the ample particularities of over forty years and twenty-one books, almost all short, subject-driven memoirs, Ernaux has fundamentally destabilized and reinvented the genre in French literature.' - Audrey Wollen, The Nation
Born in 1940, Annie Ernaux 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. Her books, in particular A Man's Place and A Woman's Story, have become contemporary classics in France. In 2022, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.