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Simple Passion by Annie Ernaux, translated by Tanya Leslie

Simple Passion by Annie Ernaux, translated by Tanya Leslie

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From the publisher:

In her spare, stark style, Annie Ernaux documents the desires and indignities of a human heart ensnared in an all-consuming passion. Blurring the line between fact and fiction, she attempts to plot the emotional and physical course of her two-year relationship with a married man where every word, event, and person either provides a connection with her beloved or is subject to her cold indifference. With courage and exactitude, Ernaux seeks the truth behind an existence lived, for a time, entirely for someone else.

‘The triumph of Ernaux’s approach… is to cherish commonplace emotions while elevating the banal expression of them… A monument to passions that defy simple explanations.’
 New York Times

‘A work of lyrical precision and diamond-hard clarity.’
 New Yorker

‘All this – the suffering and anxiety of waiting, the brief soulagement of lovemaking, the lethargy and fatigue that follow, the renewal of desire, the little indignities and abjections of both obsession and abandonment – Ernaux tells with calm, almost tranquillized matter-of-factness [that] feels like determination, truth to self, clarity of purpose.’
 Washington Post

‘I devoured – not once, but twice – Fitzcarraldo’s new English edition of Simple Passion, in which the great Annie Ernaux describes the suspended animation of a love affair with a man who is not free. Every paragraph, every word, brought me closer to a state of purest yearning…’
 Rachel Cooke, Observer

‘A stunning story, despite its detachment and the careful exclusions of any excess, that pulsates with the very passion Ernaux so truthfully describes... Small, but abundantly wise.’

‘Ernaux’s slim yet incisive examination of a woman’s two-year relationship with a married man, the latest in Fitzcarraldo’s excellent series of new editions from one of France’s greatest contemporary writers.’
 Charlie Connolly, The New European

‘Annie Ernaux is one of my favorite contemporary writers, original and true. Always after reading one of her books, I walk around in her world for months.’
 Sheila Heti, author of Motherhood

‘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.’
 Édouard Louis, author of The End of Eddy

‘Ernaux has inherited de Beauvoir’s role of chronicler to a generation.’
 Margaret Drabble, New Statesman