A Girl's Story
Annie Ernaux, trans. Alison L. Strayer (2020)
In A Girl’s Story, Annie Ernaux revisits the season fifty years earlier when she found herself overpowered by another’s will and desire. In the summer of 1958, eighteen-year-old Ernaux submits her will to a man’s, and then he moves on, leaving her without a “master,” bereft. Now, fifty years later, she realizes she can obliterate the intervening years and return to consider this young woman that she wanted to forget completely. And to discover that here, submerged in shame, humiliation, and betrayal, but also in self-discovery and self-reliance, lies the origin of her writing life.