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La Petite

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In La Petite, the renowned French writer and film producer Michèle Halberstadt vividly recounts the painful events that surrounded the death of her beloved grandfather, which led to a suicide attempt when she was twelve years old. Michèle’s mother favored her older sister, her father was emotionally remote, her teachers dismissive, and her peers a foreign species. Her gran ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by Other Press (first published August 17th 2011)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  79 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Theatrical Books
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book got me right in the heart strings. As someone who has suffered from suicidal thoughts and survived suicide attempts, just as the author/narrator has, this book hit very close to home and I found myself relating to the narrator a lot. The story was very well written and the language was beautiful. Michèle Halberstadt found the perfect balance between informational memoir and captivating story, something not all authors can do. While the book was short, I feel like it captured everything ...more
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. i know people feel it is too short or not detailed enough or more should have been said.

To me it was fine just as it was. This could be because in so many ways I was that same girl, but unfortunately for me, I had no grand revelations at age 12, quite the opposite, at age 12 was when my mother said something so awful, so life changing that it determined the course of my life, as I absorbed it and it became me.

The revelations she had at 12, I am only baby stepping my
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
For such a sad memory, this book read as hopeful. It is irresistible in the same way that finding great treasure in a junk yard or the first glow of the sunrise that chases away the night can be, and reading it felt the same way to me.
Audrey RZR
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Le récit bouleversant d'une petite fille ayant tenté de mettre fin à ses jours en prenant les somnifères de sa mère.

Une histoire poignante sur un sujet tabou, sensible, le suicide infantile.
L'écriture est simple et pleine d'émotions, la narratrice étant une enfant.
Le lecteur découvre la descente en enfer passée inaperçue de cette enfant introvertie.
Malgré l'intérêt du sujet, la longueur du récit ne permet pas un appronfondissement suffisant des personnages. Par ailleurs, la fin m'a paru bâclée
Jun 24, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a very short (I would even go so far as to say “fleeting”) memoir of the struggles Halberstadt faced when, at age 12, she lost her beloved grandfather. It’s painful and it’s real, and I recognized a lot of what she was describing. I wanted to reach out and help that little girl so badly, and make those around her see what no one was seeing. The book was filled with beautiful sentences that made me pause, contemplate, and read again. Halberstadt as a little girl reminded me of the heroine ...more
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Tiny memoir of a twelve-year-old who is the soul sister of The Elegance of the Hedgehog's Paloma. Spare prose, high emotion. As usual, an Other Press book is worth the read! ...more
Donna Morrison
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
A touching story beautifully written. I empathize with the trials and trauma experienced by Michele and celebrate the beginning of her journey to health. Worth the read.
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Powerful and haunting book about a girl who travels to the brink of death and back again. A gritty and quick read.
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a very gritty memoir of a French girl whose life was not all roses, but I loved the author's descriptions and I loved the message at the end. A quick read.
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
SLIM memoir of 12-year old struggling to find herself after death of beloved grandfather. Interesting but ... Another 2 1/2. Though I did enjoy it, hesitate to say good--may revise in future.
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
The emotions that this memoir evokes, the prose and word choice all make it a touching piece. A quick, yet powerful, read.
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brevissimo ed emozionante. Forse avendo figli mi ha toccato in modo particolare... Lo consiglio a tutti i genitori (e forse a tutti i figli preadolescenti)!
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
an interesting look at the author's life after the death of her grandfather.
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Michèle Halberstadt is a journalist, author, and producer of such films as Mr. Ibrahim, Farewell My Concubine, and Murderous Maids, which she also cowrote. Her previous novels include The Pianist in the Dark, which won the Drouot Literary Prize and was short-listed for the Lilas literary prize in France.

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