29 BOOK: “The Young Man” (2022)

January 22, 2024

Annie Ernaux (France, 1940)

“If I don’t write them, things haven’t come to an end, they’ve only been lived.”

This is one of the books that came in my Bookish box. It’s the latest work by the writer Annie Ernaux, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature last year. I had never read anything by her, but this has been a good start. In 46 pages, she recounts the romantic relationship she had at age 54 with a much younger student, who, in her words, could pass for her son.

Annie takes us on a journey to discover what that relationship revealed to her, what made her resonate, and what the gazes of others conveyed. She shows us how she experienced the differences in her relationship, which were not limited only to the age gap but also to differences in experiences and expectations.

The brevity and quality of this book make it appealing to anyone looking to read a short story that will leave a very good taste in their mouth.

Words that stay with me:

• I have often made love to force myself to write. I wanted to find in fatigue, in the helplessness that follows, reasons to no longer expect anything from life.

• He felt a fervour for me that no lover, at my fifty-four years, had ever professed to me.

• With him, I traversed all the ages of my life.

Thank you for reading.

Have a lovely day! 😘

P.S. I LOVED my Bookish box with everything it brings to accompany this book, such as: a beautiful tote, a recording of a session with Annie’s translator, which enriches the reading of her work, a very cool playlist, a bookmark, a lithograph that now hangs on one of our walls, and a little book that helps get to know the author more.

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