Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination


Translated by Moschovakis

More Magazine, Top Ten of 2008

“The strangest thing about jealousy is that it can populate an entire city—the whole world—with a person you may never have met.”

These first words set the framework for The Possession, a striking portrait of a woman after a love affair has ended. Annie Ernaux pulls the reader through every step of jealousy, of a woman’s need to know who has replaced her in a lost beloved’s life. Ernaux’s writing, characteristically gorgeous in its precision, depicts the all too familiar human tendency to seek control and certainty after rejection.”


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Born in 1940, Annie Ernaux grew up in Normandy, studied at Rouen University, and later taught high school. From 1977 to 2000, she was a professor at the Centre National d’Enseignement par Correspondance. Her books, in particular A Man’s Place and A Woman’s Story, have become contemporary classics in France. Ernaux won the prestigious Prix Renaudot for A Man's Place when it was first published in French in 1984, and the English edition later became a New York Times Notable Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. The English edition of A Woman’s Story was also a New York Times Notable Book. Ernaux’s more recent works include Simple Passion and The Possession.