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Family Feuds And Affairs

Family feuds are as old as time. These French authors explore their kinship ties and bloodbaths, in the figurative sense, that open dialogue and expose domestic angst for this summer reads selection.


La Haine de la famille by Catherine Cusset (Gallimard, 2002)This family portrait, set in Brittany, wittily and harshly recounts a family life with its ups and downs, its moods, its maritime joys and its tragedies.

En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule by Edouard Louis (Seuil, 2014)This novel is the study of the birth of an anger, an anger against Eddy’s parents, poverty, his social class, and the violence, habits, homophobia and racism dragged by it. This world grew against him as he grew against it.

Naissance by Yann Moix (Grasset, 2013)Naissance covers each stage (gestation, birth, childhood and adolescence) of the author. Yann was the black sheep of the family, the “Jewish boy” who was born seemingly circumcised. Growing up in boredom and exclusion, he created new literary parents and friends of his own to feed his bookish aspirations.

La Place by Annie Ernaux (Gallimard, 1984, 2nd edition)Ernaux writes, with a clinical eye, the biography of her father from an agricultural background. Not merely a biography, but also a tale of a father-daughter relationship, this book unpacks the story of the author who grows apart from her father and humble beginnings.

Too hot, too cold, too angry, too quiet, too busy, too lonely? We have the solutions here! Fun, fear and passion await. Each week, we will post thematic lists of great titles so you can let your bookworming desires run wild. Follow us on Twitter @FrenchBooksUSA