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Simple Passion
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About the Author

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. The Years won the Prix Renaudot in France in 2008, the Premio Strega in Italy in 2016, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2019. In 2017, Annie Ernaux was awarded the Marguerite Yourcenar Prize for her life's work.

Reviews

'The triumph of Ernaux's approach... is to cherish commonplace emotions while elevating the banal expression of them... A monument to passions that defy simple explanations.'
- New York Times


'A work of lyrical precision and diamond-hard clarity.'
- New Yorker


'All this - the suffering and anxiety of waiting, the brief soulagement of lovemaking, the lethargy and fatigue that follow, the renewal of desire, the little indignities and abjections of both obsession and abandonment - Ernaux tells with calm, almost tranquillized matter-of-factness [that] feels like determination, truth to self, clarity of purpose.'
- Washington Post


'I devoured - not once, but twice - Fitzcarraldo's new English edition of Simple Passion, in which the great Annie Ernaux describes the suspended animation of a love affair with a man who is not free. Every paragraph, every word, brought me closer to a state of purest yearning...'
- Rachel Cooke, Observer


'A stunning story, despite its detachment and the careful exclusions of any excess, that pulsates with the very passion Ernaux so truthfully describes... Small, but abundantly wise.'
- Kirkus


'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


'The author of one of the most important oeuvres in French literature, Annie Ernaux's work is as powerful as it is devastating, as subtle as it is seething.'
- Edouard Louis, author of The End of Eddy


'Ernaux has inherited de Beauvoir's role of chronicler to a generation.'
- Margaret Drabble, New Statesman

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