Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shame” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shame, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shame

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 247)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
« 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Gitte marked it as to-read
Dec 15, 2014
Scoutaccount marked it as to-read
Dec 08, 2014
Lisa Kruise
Lisa Kruise marked it as to-read
Nov 30, 2014
Christie marked it as to-read
Nov 22, 2014
Jorunn marked it as to-read
Oct 28, 2014
Pascaline Knight
Pascaline Knight marked it as to-read
Oct 22, 2014
Soonha marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2014
Helen Blomfield
Helen Blomfield marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2014
Olive Hofstader
Olive Hofstader marked it as to-read
Jul 31, 2014
Olivia added it
Jul 30, 2014
Miriam marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2014
Jonatas Tiburtino
Jonatas Tiburtino marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2014
Kelly marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Folle
  • The Debt Bomb: A Bold Plan to Stop Washington from Bankrupting America
  • Does Your Mama Know?: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Coming Out Stories
  • A State of Blood: The Inside Story of Idi Amin
  • L'analphabète: récit autobiographique
  • Shakespeare's Philosophy
  • A l'ami qui ne m'a pas sauvé la vie
  • Simultan: Erzählungen
  • The Book of Promethea
  • The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel
  • Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White
  • Insel
  • Maigret in Vichy
  • You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger
  • If it Die...
  • Tell Them Who I Am: The Lives of Homeless Women
  • Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing
  • The Last Pirate: A Father, His Son, and the Golden Age of Marijuana
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

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »