A Man's Place

Annie Ernaux, Author, Tanya Leslie, Translator Four Walls Eight Windows $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-941423-75-5
``May I venture an explanation: writing is the ultimate recourse for those who have betrayed,'' says Jean Genet in the epigraph to Ernaux's ``autobiographical narrative'' about her relationship with her father. The betrayer is Ernaux herself, a cultivated intellectual whose bitter resentment towards her petit bourgeois parents first appeared in her novel Cleaned Out . The betrayed, of course, are her parents, without whose efforts the disparity in stations would not have existed. Although not as painfully immediate as Ernaux's depiction of her mother in A Woman's Story , this is nonetheless an affecting portrait of a man whose own peasant upbringing typified the adage that a child should never be better educated than his parents. Ernaux uses, as she says, ``no lyrical reminiscences, no triumphant displays of irony,'' but rather a dispassionate narrative to describe her father's climb to the relative prosperity of a shopkeeper in a small Norman town, and his fretful vigilance lest his manners, language, posture--or daughter--betray his uneasy social position. (Apr . )
Reviewed on: 03/30/1992
Release date: 04/01/1992
Paperback - 90 pages - 978-1-60980-403-9
Hardcover - 112 pages - 978-1-888363-19-7
Paperback - 112 pages - 978-0-345-37895-8
Open Ebook - 47 pages - 978-1-60980-255-4
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