AFP, published on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 06:34
Studied and translated for 30 years in the United States, the winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize for Literature Annie Ernaux had the honors of New York this Monday night, acclaimed at the French cultural center and received with her son at the film festival of the city for his family documentary.
The French writer, a figure of feminism and committed to the left, crowned this Thursday by the Nobel committee for “the courage and clinical acuity” of her largely autobiographical work, spoke for an hour about literary creation, during a conference with American novelist Kate Zambreno.
At least 300 people, most of them women, gave her a standing ovation during the evening at the Albertine Villa in New York, on the prestigious 5th Avenue along Central Park, which houses the cultural services and a bookstore of the French Embassy in the United States.
“I have been absolutely nourished by literature since childhood. The more I look, I know what to read, that books are part of my life. I first dreamed of my life with books,” said Annie Ernaux, 82, whose remarks in French were translated into English by an interpreter, in front of a conquered French and English speaking audience.
The writer is famous and studied in American intellectual and academic circles and her Nobel Prize in Literature has been widely covered since Thursday by New York’s elite newspapers and magazines, such as the New York Times and the New Yorker.
Annie Ernaux’s work is considered an x-ray of a woman’s intimacy that has evolved with the changes in French society since the post-war period. In twenty stories, she dissects the weight of social class domination and love passion, two themes that have marked her itinerary as a woman torn apart by her working-class background.
During an exchange with the public, Annie Ernaux was warmly thanked by a young woman for having made her “enter feminism”, in particular thanks to the reading of her autobiographical novel on abortion, “The Event” (2000).
“It’s wonderful for me, bearer, because I don’t feel responsible for this effect my books have on younger generations,” the octogenarian author replied, all smiles.
Annie Ernaux is visiting the American cultural and economic megalopolis this week and she also presented her family documentary “The Super-8 years” on Monday night, together with her son David Ernaux-Briot, at the 60th Film Festival of New York.
On Wednesday she will be received at Columbia University’s Barnard College in New York, a faculty of letters reserved for women.