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Getting Lost by Annie Ernaux

Getting Lost by Annie Ernaux

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WINNER OF THE 2022 NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE

The diary of one of France’s most important, award-winning writers during the year she had a passionate and secret love affair with a Russian diplomat.

Getting Lost is the diary Annie Ernaux kept during the year and a half she had a secret love affair with a younger, married man, a Russian diplomat. Her novel, Simple Passion, was based on this affair, but here her writing is immediate, unfiltered. In these diaries it is 1989 and Annie is divorced with two grown sons, living outside of Paris and nearing fifty. Her lover escapes the city to see her there and Ernaux seems to survive only in expectation of these encounters, saying “his desire for me is the only thing I can be sure of.” She cannot write, she trudges distractedly through her various other commitments in the world, she awaits his next call; she lives only to feel desire and for the next rendezvous. When he is gone and the desire has faded, she feels that she is a step closer to death.
 
Lauded for her spare prose, Ernaux here removes all artifice, her writing pared down to its most naked and vulnerable. Getting Lost is as strong a book as any that she has written, a haunting, desperate view of strong and successful woman who seduces a man only to lose herself in love and desire.

REVIEWS

"The almost primitive directness of her voice is bracing. It’s as if she’s carving each sentence onto the surface of a table with a knife. . . . Getting Lost is a feverish book. . . . it’s one of those books about loneliness that, on every page, makes you feel less alone."Dwight Garner, New York Times 

"Like 
Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary, Ernaux’s affair should be counted as one of the great liaisons of literature. ... I suspect the book will become a kind of totem for lovers: a manual to help them find their centre when, like Ernaux, they are lost in love. All her books have the quality of saving frail human details from oblivion. Together they tell, in fragments, the story of a woman in the twentieth century who has lived fully, sought out pain and happiness equally and then committed her findings truthfully on paper. Her life is our inheritance."Ankita Chakraborty, The Guardian

"To read [the diary entries] is to encounter something like a pentimento, the revelation of writing underneath other writing—a quality that already suffuses so much of her work. We can, of course, marvel at what Ernaux was able to make of these entries in 
Simple Passion. But  they offer their own distinct and potent pleasures, the rare, delightful, occasionally shocking intimacies of reading someone else’s private thoughts."Sophie Haigney, The Paris Review

PRODUCT DETAILS
Paperback
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
ISBN: 978-1644212196
Pages: 240