Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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Translated by Tanya Leslie

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.

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Exteriors is honest, genuine and skillfully executed.”

“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.”

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 tex is, simultaneously, interiority and provocation.”

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The author of some twenty works of fiction and memoir, Annie Ernaux is considered by many to be France’s most important literary voice. She won the Prix Renaudot for A Man's Place and the Marguerite Yourcenar Prize for her body of work. More recently she received the International Strega Prize, the Prix Formentor, the French-American Translation Prize, and the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation for The Years, which was also shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize.