Annie Ernaux

Books by Annie Ernaux

Annie Ernaux is a French writer whose books often fall somewhere between fiction and autobiography. She was awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature “for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory.”

I was also very excited to learn about a new book from the French Nobel Prize-winner Annie Ernaux. The Young Man—ably translated from the original French by Alison Strayer—is an exacting account of an affair with a student thirty years her junior. “Perhaps it was the desire to spark the writing of a book—a task I had hesitated to undertake because of its immensity—that prompted me to take A home for a drink after dinner at a restaurant,” she writes, analysing herself after the fact. The affair does not end well, but one does not read Annie Ernaux for happy endings. She has made her name by conducting live dissections of her emotional life, and The Young Man is no different. But it is, even for Ernaux, a very slim book, coming in at only 35 pages.

Notable Memoirs of 2023 recommended by Cal Flyn

Interviews where books by Annie Ernaux were recommended

Books by Nobel Prize in Literature Winners, recommended by Five Books Interviewees

The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually since 1901 and remains one of the most prestigious prizes a writer can aspire to. It’s also been consistently international, with many novelists and writers from around the globe winning the award for books written in an array of languages. Not all are accessible, and picking out which ones to read can be a tough call. To help, here’s our list of books by winners of the Nobel literature prize that have been recommended on Five Books.

© Five Books 2024

Get our newsletter