The Years


Product Details

$19.95  $18.55
Seven Stories Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.2 X 0.8 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

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 Placewhen 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 the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation and was shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. Her new book, A Girl's Story, will be out from Seven Stories in 2020.

ALISON STRAYER is a Canadian writer and translator. Her work has won the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation, and has been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, the Governor General's Award for Literature and for Translation, the Grand Prix du livre de Montreal, and the Prix litteraire France-Quebec. She lives in Paris.


The Years is an earnest, fearless book, a Remembrance of Things Past for our age of media domination and consumerism, for our period of absolute commodity fetishism. --Edmund White, The New York Times Book Review

Annie Ernaux is ruthless. I mean that as a compliment. Perhaps no other memoirist - if, in fact, memoir-writing is what Ernaux is up to, which both is and isn't the case - is so willing to interrogate not only the details of her life but also the slippery question of identity. ... Think of The Years ... as memoir in the shape of intervention: 'all the things she has buried as shameful and which are now worthy of retrieval, unfolding, in the light of intelligence.'
--David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times

The process of reading The Years is similar to a treasure box discovery. ... It is the kind of book you close after reading a few pages, carried away by the bittersweet taste it leaves in your mind. ... Ernaux transforms her life into history and her memories into the collective memory of a generation." --Azarin Sadegh, Los Angeles Review of Books

Annie Ernaux's The Years, translated by Alison L. Strayer, is ostensibly the author's autobiography, but if a book can be both sinuous and fragmentary, this one is, circling around the truth, presenting a collage of images, episodes, memories and flights of imagination. The narrative voice moves between the first person plural and the third person. It's just a glorious novel - think JM Coetzee meets Joan Didion. --Alex Preston, The Guardian

... a memoir that is humble and generous, an homage to the great French writers and thinkers of the previous century. --Bookforum

The author of one of the most important oeuvres in French literature, Annie Ernaux's work is as powerful as it is devastating, as subtle as it is seething. --Edouard Louis, author of The End of Eddy

One of the few indisputably great books of contemporary literature. --Emmanuel Carrère, author of The Kingdom

One of the best books you'll ever read. --Deborah Levy, author of Hot Milk

Attentive, communal and genuinely new, Annie Ernaux's The Years is an astonishing achievement. --Olivia Laing, author of Crudo

A book of memory, of a life and world, staggeringly and brilliantly original. --Philippe Sands, author of East West Street

The Years is a revolution, not only in the art of autobiography but in art itself. Annie Ernaux's book blends memories, dreams, facts and meditations into a unique evocation of the times in which we lived, and live. --John Banville