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The End of Eddy: A Novel
     

The End of Eddy: A Novel

by Edouard Louis, Michael Lucey (Translator)
 

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An autobiographical novel about growing up gay in a working-class town in Picardy.

“Every morning in the bathroom I would repeat the same phrase to myself over and over again . . . Today I’m really gonna be a tough guy.” Growing up in a poor village in northern France, all Eddy Bellegueule wanted was to be a man in the eyes of his

Overview

An autobiographical novel about growing up gay in a working-class town in Picardy.

“Every morning in the bathroom I would repeat the same phrase to myself over and over again . . . Today I’m really gonna be a tough guy.” Growing up in a poor village in northern France, all Eddy Bellegueule wanted was to be a man in the eyes of his family and neighbors. But from childhood, he was different—“girlish,” intellectually precocious, and attracted to other men.

Already translated into twenty languages, The End of Eddy captures the violence and desperation of life in a French factory town. It is also a sensitive, universal portrait of boyhood and sexual awakening. Like Karl Ove Knausgaard or Edmund White, Édouard Louis writes from his own undisguised experience, but he writes with an openness and a compassionate intelligence that are all his own. The result—a critical and popular triumph—has made him the most celebrated French writer of his generation.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Excellent . . . Already translated into 20 languages, this concise novel adroitly captures the downstream effects of reactionary rural culture, heightened by the rise of hard-right ideology and the destabilization of the working class in contemporary Europe, granting its reader an extraordinary portrait of trauma and escape." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A seamless, universal portrait of the experience of growing up gay and gradually coming to accept oneself." —Michael Cart, Booklist (starred review)

"[One of] Europe's new literary superstars . . . Even in the wake of Knausgaard and Ferrante it is hard to find a literary phenomenon that has swept Europe quite like the autobiographical project of Édouard Louis.” —Ane Farsethas, LitHub

"A bracingly pitiless account of the psychic and physical violence that lies at the root of masculine identity. Louis's remarkably visceral story of growing up queer in working class France quickly transcends its setting precisely because it delivers us into it with such emotional force." —Adam Haslett, author of Imagine Me Gone

"Èdouard Louis speaks of violence, both social and familiar, with tremendous force and feeling. Revelatory, queerly tough, as intellectual as it is impolite, The End of Eddy is a book to shake you up." —Justin Torres, author of We the Animals

"The End of Eddy is lean and poignant and masterfully tells the tale of growing up gay, poor, and bullied. No one has told this story as eloquently.” —Edmund White, author of A Boy's Own Story

"Like a cannonball spilled off the side of a ship, Édouard Louis makes straight for the deeps. The End of Eddy is heart-crushing, soul-stabbing, astonishing, exhilarating. Édouard Louis is exactly the kind of writer we need right now: honest, fearless and, yes, tough." —Laird Hunt, author of Neverhome

Library Journal
04/01/2017
Louis was born in a factory town in northern France with the name of his narrator, Eddy Bellegueule, a real tough guy's name (bellegueule means, roughly, "beautiful trap," with trap here meaning mouth). But anguished young Eddy is no tough guy, instead suffering constant bullying for his so-called fancy ways; even his parents call him pussy, the worst insult they could deliver. In a place where men are expected to be men and women and children can expect to be belted into submission, Eddy is the relentlessly targeted outsider disproving the adage that names can never hurt you and suffering real beatings besides. Fighting panic attacks, skirting his tormentors, trying to get it on with girls before "losing the battle between my desire to become a tough guy and the desire of my own body," Eddy finally finds a convincing and satisfying way to triumph, if imperfectly. VERDICT An autobiographical first novel that made Louis a star in France and an international sensation, this work is occasionally repetitious but ultimately deeply affecting. [See Prepub Alert, 12/1/16.]

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374266653
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
05/02/2017
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
345,646
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Born Eddy Bellegueule in Hallencourt, France, in 1992, Édouard Louis is a novelist and the editor of a scholarly work on the social scientist Pierre Bourdieu. He is the coauthor, with the philosopher Geoffroy de Lagasnerie, of “Manifesto for an Intellectual and Political Counteroffensive,” published in English by the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Michael Lucey is a professor of French literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Never Say I: Sexuality and the First Person in Colette, Gide, and Proust and The Misfit of the Family: Balzac and the Social Forms of Sexuality, and has translated Returning to Reims by Didier Eribon.