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Shame

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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  139 ratings  ·  6 reviews
"My father tried to kill my mother one Sunday in June, in the early afternoon," begins Shame, the probing story of the twelve-year-old girl who will become the author herself, and the single traumatic memory that will echo and resonate throughout her life. With the emotionally rich voice of great fiction and the diamond-sharp analytical eye of a scientist, Annie Ernaux pro ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 9th 1998 by Seven Stories Press (first published January 1st 1997)
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Vitalia Sava
This is a very short and simple book.

The central theme, as the title suggests is that of shame.

Having witnessed a shocking incident in her youth - that of her father trying to kill her mother, the narrator spends the rest of her life plagued by a feeling of shame.

The bulk of book is spend outlining the world that child of 12 lived in when the incident occurred:
- The small rural town, where everyone knows each other's business, and where there is a constant expectation of conforming to the est
...more
CVV
« Les gens n’arrêtent pas de se souvenir. « Avant la guerre » et « pendant la guerre » ouvrent continuellement leurs propos. Il n’y a pas de réunion de famille et d’amis sans évocation de la Débâcle, de l’Occupation et des bombardements, chacun participant à la reconstitution de l’épopée, décrivant sa scène de panique ou d’horreur, rappelant le froid de l’hiver 42, le rutabaga, les alertes, mimant le bruit des V2 dans le ciel. L’Exode suscite les récits les plus lyriques, traditionnellement conc ...more
Leilani Clark
Annie Ernaux is interesting. She writes in a way that is very familiar yet at the same time distanced. It's like you're being let into her most private moments, but only as a spectator, and she is a spectator of her own life along with you. The one thing that I really took from this book is a personal meditation on the idea of "working-class" shame. As in, the shame one feels when as a child you realize you don't have the same privileges as the others in the world. She does a nice job of capturi ...more
Stephanie
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Katie McCleary
Oct 25, 2007 Katie McCleary rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: biographists
An interesting "ethnography of the self" that failed for me-- although without personal opinion she achieved her artistic vision- but I was unimpressed. Albeit she does make a good case for language as a pathway to identity.
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Annie Ernaux is a French writer.

She won the Prix Renaudot in 1984 for her book La Place, an autobiographical narrative focusing on her relationship with her father and her experiences growing up in a small town in France, and her subsequent process of moving into adulthood and away from her parents' place of origin.
More about Annie Ernaux...
La place Simple Passion A Woman's Story Les Années L'Evénement

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