Get personalized recommendations and earn points toward a free book!
Check Out
The Bestselling Books of All Time
See the List
The Years by Annie Ernaux

The Years

Best Seller
The Years by Annie Ernaux
Nov 21, 2017 | ISBN 9781609807870
See All Formats (1) +
  • Paperback $19.95

    Nov 21, 2017 | ISBN 9781609807870

  • Ebook $15.99

    Nov 21, 2017 | ISBN 9781609807887

*This title is not eligible for purchase to earn points nor for redemption with your code in the Reader Rewards program

Product Details


The Years is an earnest, fearless book, a Remembrance of Things Past for our age of media domination and consumerism, for our period of absolute commodity fetishism.”
–Edmund White, New York Times Book Review

“Annie Ernaux is ruthless. I mean that as a compliment. Perhaps no other memoirist — if, in fact, memoir-writing is what Ernaux is up to, which both is and isn’t the case — is so willing to interrogate not only the details of her life but also the slippery question of identity. …Think of The Years…as memoir in the shape of intervention: ‘all the things she has buried as shameful and which are now worthy of retrieval, unfolding, in the light of intelligence.’”
David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times

“The process of reading The Years is similar to a treasure box discovery. …It is the kind of book you close after reading a few pages, carried away by the bittersweet taste it leaves in your mind. …Ernaux transforms her life into history and her memories into the collective memory of a generation.” 
Los Angeles Review of Books

“Annie Ernaux’s The Years, translated by Alison L Strayer, is ostensibly the author’s autobiography, but if a book can be both sinuous and fragmentary, this one is, circling around the truth, presenting a collage of images, episodes, memories and flights of imagination. The narrative voice moves between the first person plural and the third person. It’s just a glorious novel – think JM Coetzee meets Joan Didion.” –Alex Preston, The Guardian

“…a memoir that is humble and generous, an homage to the great French writers and thinkers of the previous century. The “she” of The Years could be (and indeed is meant to be) any woman who grew up in a small town and moved into the literary world… To her, the book will “give form to her future absence.” The Years is not the testimony of a woman who once existed, but of a woman who no longer exists.” 

“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.”
— Edouard Louis, author of The End of Eddy

“I admire the form she invented, mixing autobiography, history, sociology. The anxious interrogations on her defection, moving as she did from the dominated to the dominant classes. Her loyalty to her people, her fidelity to herself. The progressive depersonalisation of her work, culminating in the disappearance of the ‘I’ in The Years, a book I must have read three or four times since its publication, even more impressed each time by its precision, its sweep and—I can’t think of any other word—its majesty. One of the few indisputably great books of contemporary literature.”
— Emmanuel Carrère, author of The Kingdom

“One of the best books you’ll ever read.”
— Deborah Levy, author of Hot Milk

“Attentive, communal and genuinely new, Annie Ernaux’s The Years is an astonishing achievement.”
— Olivia Laing, author of Crudo

“A book of memory, of a life and world, staggeringly and brilliantly original.”
 — Philippe Sands, author of East West Street

“Ravishing and almost oracular with insight, Ernaux’s prose performs an extraordinary dance between collective and intimate, ‘big’ history and private experience. The Years is a philosophical meditation paced as a rollercoaster ride through the decades. How we spend ourselves too quickly, how we reach for meaning but evade it, how to live, how to remember—these are Ernaux’s themes. I am desperate for more.”
— Kapka Kassabova, author of Border 

The Years is a revolution, not only in the art of autobiography but in art itself. Annie Ernaux’s book blends memories, dreams, facts and meditations into a unique evocation of the times in which we lived, and live.”
— John Banville 

Back to Top