WINNER OF THE 2022 NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE
One of Annie Ernaux's most exciting and idiosyncratic works now in paperback for the first time.
In this novel, which takes the form of journal entries made over the course of seven years, Annie Ernaux concentrates on the ephemeral encounters that take place just on the periphery of a person's lived environment. She captures the feeling of contemporary living on the outskirts of a great city: tortured, chaotic, lyrical, and powerfully alive. Exteriors is in many ways the most ecstatic of Ernaux's books—the first in which she appears largely free of the haunting personal relationships she has written about so powerfully elsewhere, and the first in which she is able to leave the past behind her.
Born in 1940, ANNIE ERNAUX grew up in Normandy, studied at Rouen University, and began teaching high school. From 1977 to 2000, she was a professor at the Centre National d’Enseignement par Correspondance. Her books, in particular A Man’s Place and A Woman’s Story, have become contemporary classics in France. She won the prestigious Prix Renaudot for A Man's Place when it was first published in French in 1984. The English edition was a New York Times Notable Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. The English edition of A Woman’s Story was a New York Times Notable Book.
“Exteriors is honest, genuine and skillfully executed.” —Columbus Dispatch
“Ernaux's writings walk a tightrope between art and confession, immersing us in a territory bounded on one side by commitment and on the other by desire.” —Newsday
“Journal du dehors (Exteriors) is the opposite of an intimate diary. It shows a woman observing, without scorn or pity, the world out of which she came . . . . It is the text of a writer for whom the text is, simultaneously, interiority and provocation.” —Telerama