Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

9781609809515-fullsize-rgb-f_feature

Translated by Alison L. Strayer

In Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman, Annie Ernaux revisits the night 50 years earlier when she found herself submerged and controlled by another person's desire and willpower. It is the summer of 1958, the year she turned 18. And then the man she gave herself to moves on. She has submitted her will to his, and now she finds that she is a slave without a master. Now, fifty years later, she realizes she can obliterate the intervening years and return to consider this young woman that until now she wanted to forget completely. And to discover that here was the vital, violent and dolorous origin of her writing life, her writer's identity, built out of shame, violence, betrayal.

9781609809515-fullsize-rgb-f_feature

Buying options

Ernaux9-19-f_feature

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 became a New York Times Notable Book. Other New York Times Notable Books include Simple Passion and A Woman's Story, which was also a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist. 

Ernaux’s most recent work, The Years, has received the Françoise-Mauriac Prize of the French Academy, the Marguerite Duras Prize, the Strega European Prize, the French Language Prize, and the Télégramme Readers Prize. The English edition, translated by Alison L. Strayer, won the 31st Annual French-American Translation Prize for non-fiction and was shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. Her new book, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman, will be out from Seven Stories in 2020.