‘My father tried to kill my mother one Sunday in June, in the early afternoon.’ Thus begins Shame, the probing story of the twelve-year-old girl who will become the author herself, and the traumatic memory that will echo and resonate throughout her life. With the emotionally rich voice of great fiction and the analytical eye of a scientist, Annie Ernaux provides a powerful reflection on experience and the power of violent memory to endure through time, to determine the course of a life.
‘[E]xceptionally deft and precise, the very epitome of all that language can do…a surprisingly tender evocation of a bright, passionate and self-aware young girl growing up in her parents’ “cafe-haberdashery-grocery” in a small town in Normandy.’ — Julie Myerson, Observer
‘Annie Ernaux writes memoir with such generosity and vulnerable power that I find it difficult to separate my own memories from hers long after I’ve finished reading.’ — Catherine Lacey, author of Biography of X
‘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, hardly mentioning others.’ — Joanna Biggs, London Review of Books