A Life of Her Own: A Countrywoman in Twentieth-Century France

Emilie Carles, Author, Avriel H. Goldberger, Translator, Robert Destanque, As Told to Rutgers University Press $24 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8135-1641-7
Published in France in 1977 as Une Soupe aux Herbes Sauvages, this autobiography of a peasant woman reared in the stony insularity of a tiny Alpine village reveals the unfolding of a formidable person. Carles, born in 1900, writes of her life in the mountains coountry of southern France as comprising ``so many different things, funny or tragic, picturesque or cruel.'' She takes the reader into her beloved Claree Valley where she as a young child in a motherless family labored alongside her father in the fields; it is where her schooling began and where she recognized her intelligence as the key to the outer world. Primitive village life and the patriarchal though loving structure of her family are background for Carles's full, nonconformist life as teacher, farmer, mother, feminist and political activist. The memoir brings to life a captivating woman. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction


Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-14-016965-2
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