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La Place

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  4,191 ratings  ·  419 reviews
'Enfant, quand je m'efforçais de m'exprimer dans un langage châtié, j'avais l'impression de me jeter dans le vide.
Une de mes frayeurs imaginaires, avoir un père instituteur qui m'aurait obligée à bien parler sans arrêt en détachant les mots. On parlait avec toute la bouche.
Puisque la maîtresse me "reprenait", plus tard j'ai voulu reprendre mon père, lui annoncer que "se pa
Kindle Edition, 111 pages
Published January 31st 2013 by Editions Gallimard (first published 1983)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  4,191 ratings  ·  419 reviews

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This is brave and beautiful writing but...
The author grieves for her dead father by assembling words on paper, words which slowly take the form of a portrait of the father from his childhood at the turn of the twentieth century, through his years as a farm labourer, as a factory worker and eventually as the proprietor of a little café cum grocery shop on the edge of a small town in Normandy. Like many of his generation, he wished for a better life for his daughter and hoped that she would get th
mark monday
these french writers and their fragile lives enclosed in steely armour. the cliche is Passion but my experience has been Passionless Renderings of Puppet Lives. intellectual, très intellectual. Ernaux does write beautifully. she also writes like the Queen of Insects, studying her insect kingdom, watching and reporting on their movements, their scurrying, their little lives. how can such a good writer be a writer who leaves me so cold? still, the style is compelling if not particularly moving. Sp ...more
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This autobiographical book looks like a very harsh reckoning of the writer with her parents, and especially her father. She grew up in rural France, in a small Norman town where there was a very strict morality and work ethic, strongly influenced by the Catholic Church. Ernaux first briefly describes the life of her grandparents, small farmers, but then mainly focuses on her surly father, a man who worked himself up from simple labourer to shop owner.

The first half of the book has a downright n
Czarny Pies
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french-lit
In La Place is a tour de force in which Annie Ernaux writes the life history of her father as she is able to reconstruct it from her own memories and stories told to her primarily by her father and mother. The brilliance of the book lies in the way that Ernaux shows first the importance that the historical context and upbringing that her father received had in forming his character; and second the importance of the historical context and the upbringing she received from her father in the formati ...more
In A Woman's Story, Annie Ernaux wrote of her mother. In the accompanying volume, A Man's Place, she writes of her father (1899-1967).

What is presented is a personal story. It is as much or in fact even more about Annie’s relationship with her father than about the man himself. Her father’s greatest satisfaction was that, “I (Annie) belonged to the world that had scorned him.” Rather than this making her happy, I sense instead guilt in Annie.

As I see it, the book’s primary focus is instead the
The is my first novel to Annie Ernaux ,she mixes both formal and slang language in a unique way,i cant say i like it,but it was new for me,she wrote with her own special writing style,very smooth not complicated at all....and narrates in an open and honest way...
a short autobiography about the life of her father and her relation to him until his death....
her childhood memories, the strange image she hold for her father ,love and at the same time embarrassment of his habits as a peasant....
Abbie | ab_reads
(#gifted @fitzcarraldoeditions) Annie Ernaux is probably my favourite non-fiction writer and I will read anything she writes, but I have to admit A Man's Place did not give me the same feeling her work usually does. Ernaux is usually unabashedly shares her innermost thoughts and feelings, allowing the reader an unfiltered glimpse into private and defining moments of her life. But with A Man's Place, she sets about the book differently and outlines this different approach at the very beginning.
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am enjoying Annie Ernaux’s autobiographical pieces. They somewhat remind me of a huge puzzle and with each book we readers are seeing a new aspect of her life. A Man’s Place (published in France in 1982, made widely available by Fitzcarraldo in 2020). This time Annie Ernaux is writing about her father.

Annie Ernaux is perfect at not wasting words. Within a brief 75 pages there is the childhood, middle age and death of her father. This may mean that the man had an uneventful life since it’s trea
Marcus Hobson
May 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My third book by Annie Ernaux in the last three weeks. I am loving her deeply personal memoirs, her recall of events and that they can be read quickly, not lingered over but digested whole in an afternoon or an evening. There is no forgetting or loss of recall when it is possible to read the whole so quickly. Sometimes, if I put a book down for a few days there will be a loss of thread, but here everything is contained in the single experience.

Something I noted with this particular book is that
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'A Man's Place' is Annie Ernaux' ode to her father. In the book about her mother, Annie Ernaux compares her father and mother and says this :

"He took me to the funfair, to the circus, and to see Fernandel's films. He taught me how to ride a bicycle and recognize the garden vegetables. With him I had fun, with her I had "conversations"."

Ernaux expands on that in this book, by going back to the beginning, to her grandparents' time, describes the environment her father grew up in, how her grandfat
Pauline Van etc.
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ernaux wrote « La Place » after her father passed away. She is a French writer that I had never read who comes from a community in Normandy not far from my hometown in France.

In her book she explores her dad’s upbringing and adulthood, constantly trying to bring himself out of poverty. Ernaux also shows the growing distance between them as she becomes educated and integrated in the bourgeois class.

She underlines a lot of common sayings her dad used and I was impressed by her use of language to
Andrew Helms
Nov 11, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boring and post-modern. Enough said. Not to mention in French.
Nina ( picturetalk321 )
A very moving, quiet, wonderful book. The blurb tells me that it is "autofiction", a genre with which I am not familiar. The author writes that she wants to recreate her father's life, without sentimentality, and early on she says that she wants to see him in his context.

I didn't understand what she meant until a few pages in. Her father grew up in the French countryside, in Normandy, and worked as an agricultural labourer from the age of 12. After the first world war, he married and started a p
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Annie Ernaux' father was born to a poor rural family. He showed some promise in school, but as was customary for the times and his class, he was put to work at a farm before he could complete school. After the first World War, he determined to raise himself above the level of a farmhand, and started working in factories. Eventually, he and his wife would run a general store and café, a humble sort of affair, just enough to lift them out of the very lowest depths of poverty, give them an iota of ...more
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021_read
I think a lot of privacy is revealed so it's kind of brave. The point of interest wasn't alive though. I guess it would be more interesting if it was done while he was alive but the author also acknowledges that there is no way of a communication with him so we get the book, fortunately.

It gives a delicate feeling of criticism and looking from above versus love and wishing more for the loved ones. I have this issue too and I wish we could be stronger.
Oct 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bieb, french, 2020
A simple, fragmented love letter to a father from another world and another time. I understand the choice of a simple prose given the subject matter, but that means the book didn't grab me emotionally until the end. I'm really liking Ernaux so far, although her rythm doesn't work perfectly for me. ...more
Clark Knowles
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very slim. Very spare. Very powerful.
A tribute to Annie Ernaux' dad

Key words: contemporary, autobiography, French literature, novel

This novel is a tribute from Annie Ernaux to her dad. It is a collection of thoughts and memories from her childhood, mostly organised chronologically (not always though), but quite unstructured which can be weird at first. However, as it is short, I think everyone can push past that and finish this nice story. The author presents her dad without really any emotions in order to keep a distance and to tr
Feb 28, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good friend of mine gave me this book just in right time, when my mum was so close that I could observe the reflection of Ernaux’s pure scrutiny in her.
Quite moving.
Keith Sickle
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful book. Ernaux paints a remarkable portrait of her father and his world in just a few pages. I really enjoyed this.
Dennis Littrell
Apr 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A stylistic tour de force

This thin book contains a "fiction"--it is shorter than a novella, but somewhat long for a short story. Perhaps one might call it a fictionalized memoir. In experience and scope it is a novel, that is, after one has read the lean 99 pages, one feels that one has experienced an entire life, such is the effect of Ernaux's distinctive prose. She writes: "I shall collate my father's words, tastes and mannerisms, as well as the main events of his life...No lyrical reminiscenc
Adrian Alvarez
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just an absolutely devastating portrait of Ernaux's deceased father. She writes so beautifully, piecing together fragments of speech and little details about her father until they amass into something like a portrait not of one person but of an entire generation. ...more
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had to read this book for my French history class and I must admit that this book resonated with me on a deeper level than expected. Overall, Ernaux's book paints a life-long portrait of her father, layered with depictions of French society from early to mid-twentieth century, as well as her complex relationship with her father.

While the story line is quite simply and Ernaux's writing style may even seem stand-offish, I think it perfectly captures both the older generations' way of thinking,
Bojana Žakelj
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the very first book I ever read in French, excluding the fairytales we read in primary school :) It took me a long time to read for I am not used to reading in French, but it was really worth it. It's one of those novels that make the reader reflect upon the plot. The story gives a good insight on the social layers in France in the previous century and howthey perceived each other. The narrator's father was ashamed of his work class origins and felt iferior to the upper class. His daught ...more
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

She told that she wrote this story with an objective view, no comments about anything had happened in her dad's life and even her feelings, her emotions; but I feel the love, the sentimental of the connections between her and the world she left behind, especially her dad.

I cried at the end of this book for no reason. That becomes one of the strange things I encounter with my own emotions.

Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
A marvelous book.
Mar 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A memoir, biography, and homage to her father, Ernaux explores her upbringing in rural France by a man—the main motivating force of the family—who rose from poverty to the American equivalent of lower-middle class status.

Without romanticizing any of his past, Ernaux describes her father’s birth into the French equivalent of sharecroppers: Workers of other peoples’ land for poverty wages and little respect. Ernaux’s father, she points out, was pulled out of school just days short of obtaining hi
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In La Place, Ernaux tries to paint a portrait of her recently deceased father, almost as a cleansing, grieving ritual to put him to rest, and to go forward. She paints a portrait of his life, almost clinically, but with a writing that is still poetic.
Ernaux's relationship with his father is the smaller frame of a bigger picture : social class gap between parents and children. Her parents desparetly wanted her to do better, live further and attain the bourgeois lifestyle that they could have n
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where's your place; what's your place; who's your place; when's your place; why's your place? [1] Where do you come from, and where do you belong? If you're not sure, cast back your mind, and remember (though memory may resist [2]).

A portrait made out of memory snapshots [3]. A portrait made to expiate sins. A portrait made to make peace. A portrait made to understand.

An apparent lack of style that is a style in itself. A collection of phrases heard. Like notes. Like notes taken by a therapist m
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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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“J'ai glissé dans cette moitié du monde pour laquelle l'autre n'est qu'un décor.” 4 likes
“Có lẽ niềm tự hào lớn nhất đối với ông, hay thậm chí là lời biện minh cho cuộc đời ông: là tôi đang thuộc về thế giới từng khinh miệt ông.” 0 likes
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