A Life Of Her Own / Edition 1

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Carles autobiography is the tale of a world that has largely disappeared and of the one that emerged to take its place. Her account reflects the turbulent history of the twentieth century from the viewpoints of the many roles she played in it--teacher, farmer, feminist, pacifist, and political activist.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Published in France in 1977 as Une Soupe aux Herbes Sauvages, this autobiography of a peasant woman reared in the stony insularity of a tiny Alpine village reveals the unfolding of a formidable person. Carles, born in 1900, writes of her life in the mountains coountry of southern France as comprising ``so many different things, funny or tragic, picturesque or cruel.'' She takes the reader into her beloved Claree Valley where she as a young child in a motherless family labored alongside her father in the fields; it is where her schooling began and where she recognized her intelligence as the key to the outer world. Primitive village life and the patriarchal though loving structure of her family are background for Carles's full, nonconformist life as teacher, farmer, mother, feminist and political activist. The memoir brings to life a captivating woman. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Originally published in France as Une Soupe aux Herbes Sauvages (1977), this is the memoir of a mountain peasant born at the turn of the century who was lucky and persevering enough to finish school, work in Paris, attend the Sorbonne, and become a schoolteacher. Carles married an intellectually inclined housepainter, and they returned to her village in the Alps of southeastern France to raise their family. Her tales demonstrate some of the political and social conflicts of modern French life, and her descriptions of her childhood and adolescence in a rigidly conservative patriarchal society are especially moving. Unfortunately, her later stories in the rest of the book become more mundane and less engaging. Not a necessary purchase.-- Gwen Gregory, U.S. Courts Lib., Phoenix, Ariz.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813516417
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 4/19/1991
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xiii
Translator's Note xvii
A Life of Her Own
Preface 1
Part 1
Chapter 1 A Tree That Died for Want of Sap 5
Chapter 2 Wolves in the Valley 15
Chapter 3 Tied Down on a Mule 25
Chapter 4 A Family Portrait 31
Chapter 5 Learning to Read 41
Chapter 6 They Died for Their Country 51
Chapter 7 And the Wind Would Carry Me Off Like a Bird 59
Chapter 8 Just As It Was in the Middle Ages 65
Chapter 9 Farewell, Joseph 73
Chapter 10 Thou Shalt Not Kill 79
Chapter 11 "It's When You Spits" 85
Chapter 12 Beware the Loose Woman 93
Chapter 13 Three Stories Plus One More 101
Chapter 14 One of Their Own 109
Chapter 15 Fatback and Wine-Soaked Bread 113
Chapter 16 The Story of Marie-Rose 119
Chapter 17 If I'd Been a Washerwoman Beside a Stream... 125
Chapter 18 "Joseph, You're a Thief!" 133
Chapter 19 A Second Family 139
Part 2
Chapter 20 You Have a Right to a Life of Your Own 145
Chapter 21 Paris Is Well Worth a Mass 149
Chapter 22 Against All Comers 153
Chapter 23 Does Your Teacher Hit You? 161
Chapter 24 My Four Wards 167
Chapter 25 The Golden Age 175
Chapter 26 Like a Bird Fallen from the Nest 187
Chapter 27 The Phony War 195
Chapter 28 Nine Names for a Hostage List 209
Chapter 29 Schoolteacher in Val-des-Pres 221
Chapter 30 Farewell to Jean Carles 231
Chapter 31 The Wolves Are Back 239
Chapter 32 November 11, 1977 257
Afterword 261
Glossary 265
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