Childhood

Childhood

3.67 (1,334 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by  , Foreword by 

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Description

As one of the leading proponents of the nouveau roman, Nathalie Sarraute is often remembered for her novels, including "The Golden Fruits", which earned her the Prix international de litterature in 1964. But her carefully crafted and evocative memoir "Childhood" may in fact be Sarraute's most accessible and emotionally open work. Written when the author was eighty-three years old, but dealing with only the first twelve years of her life, "Childhood" is constructed as a dialogue between Sarraute and her memory. Sarraute gently interrogates her interlocutor in search of her own intentions, more precise accuracy, and, indeed, the truth. Her relationships with her mother in Russia and her stepmother in Paris are especially heartbreaking: long-gone actions are prodded and poked at by Sarraute until they yield some semblance of fact, imbuing these maternalistic interactions with new, deeper meaning. Each vignette is bristling with detail and shows the power of memory through prose that is by turns funny, sad, and poetic.
Capturing the ambience of Paris and Russia in the earliest part of the twentieth century, while never giving up the lyrical style of Sarraute's novels, this book has much to offer both memoir enthusiasts and fiction lovers.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 133 x 203 x 20.32mm | 272.16g
  • University of Chicago Press
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0226922316
  • 9780226922317
  • 887,676

Review quote

"Evoked with telescoping intensity, these scenes glow with the immediacy of time not recalled but relived." (Vanity Fair) "Childhood is a dialogue with memory, a merciless coaxing of memory into images and then into refractions of images, until memory is stripped of sentiment and becomes something close to sensation itself." (New Yorker)"
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About Nathalie Sarraute

Nathalie Sarraute (1900-99) was a French novelist, essayist, dramatist, and critic. Her works have been translated into more than thirty languages. Barbara Wright (1915-2009) was an English translator of modern French literature.
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Rating details

1,334 ratings
3.67 out of 5 stars
5 26% (342)
4 35% (464)
3 26% (350)
2 8% (113)
1 5% (65)
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