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“I have always seen Annie Ernaux as a big sister right in her boots”

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After the double event constituted by the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Annie Ernaux and the way in which her consecration agitated the world of French letters, it is no longer possible to read it “in all innocence”. This consequence is both terrible and perhaps fortunate. Since it has the merit of questioning us about what literature is, its power, its ambition, its place in a society. Rather than knowing if Annie Ernaux is indeed the great writer who has just been crowned, we could ask the question upside down for once: what would we have missed if Annie Ernaux had not written and published ?

This is how I want to think of Annie Ernaux’s books, which have always accompanied me, since I’ve been reading, since I’ve been writing. I’ve always seen her as a big sister straight in her boots, who doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty. Because grease, there is, from one end of existence to the other, and if it is not the writers who stick to it, the filmmakers, the playwrights, there is little hope that we understand something about this exhausting and nevertheless sublime “craft of living”.

Annie Ernaux never spared herself, she went there with her generosity, as if she had proclaimed: “Take, this is my body. “Because it is more exhausting than you imagine to find the right words to approach what surrounds you so closely, the mother, the father, social shame, the province, the desire, the heartbreak

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