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Shame

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3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  197 Ratings  ·  12 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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M. Sarki
Feb 07, 2015 M. Sarki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
http://msarki.tumblr.com/post/1103880...

I, so far, have found it rather captivating how Ernaux begins this novel with My father tried to kill my mother one Sunday in June... and then really never mentions it again, and instead adroitly details a child's life in which we might understand why.

Annie Ernaux certainly identifies with shame, and has since the age of twelve. She carries it with her even to this day. (view spoiler)
...more
Sophie
Jul 03, 2015 Sophie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
D'une manière simple, l'auteure nous dévoile un nouveau pan de sa vie, tout aussi bouleversant que les précédents romans que j'ai lu lire de sa plume.
C'est avec une grande lucidité qu'elle nous livre cet événement traumatisant de sa jeunesse, de manière juste avec ses yeux de femme et d'adolescente passée.
Jan
Being brought up with the high standards the Roman Catholic Church set in those days – the 1950’s in rural France – makes it all the more shocking what Ernaux has been going through as a twelve year old girl, when and after her father attacked her mother. The social context makes clear how huge the discrepancy was felt by the author, between the theory of the education and the every day real life. That must have intensived the obtrusiveness, not only what happened at the moment, but the extensiv ...more
Piperitapitta
Dec 30, 2014 Piperitapitta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
«Scrivere è un atto pubblico.»

Ancora una volta scrivere e scavare nel proprio passato è l'unico modo, per Annie Ernaux, per elaborare il proprio vissuto.
Il pretesto, l'avvenimento da esorcizzare, è il racconto di un episodio drammatico della sua infanzia: il giorno di giugno in cui il padre, durante un litigio, tentò di uccidere la madre.
Per Annie, allora dodicenne, è quello l'episodio che segnerà la sua crescita e, successivamente, la vita intera; fin quando non riuscirà ad analizzarlo, e a scr
...more
Vitalia
Oct 26, 2014 Vitalia rated it liked it
Shelves: french
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
Winnielou
C'est le roman d'Annie Ernaux que j'ai le moins aimé dans ceux que j'ai lus. Je l'ai trouvé très répétitif par rapport aux autres, j'ai moins accroché à cette histoire dont le thème central est traité trop rapidement pour qu'il m'ait vraiment touché. J'ai trouvé cependant intéressant de lire ce livre dans la continuité des autres.
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
Sep 18, 2007 Leilani Clark rated it it was amazing
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
Sara
Aug 20, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have steadily been reading Ernaux's short novels all summer. The confessional tone coupled with her frank discussions with herself about her emotions are addictive. I like that I then am inclined to mine my own memories for equivilant experiences creating an additional layer to her autobiographical pieces.
Stephanie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie McCleary
Oct 25, 2007 Katie McCleary rated it liked it
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.
Diane
Feb 21, 2014 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always amazing.
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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.
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