A Woman’s Battles and Transformations reviewed in the LA Times

Édouard Louis

Édouard Louis's A Woman's Battles and Transformations, translated by Tash Aw, has been reviewed in the Los Angeles Times.

“’A Woman’s Battles’ is Louis’ most hopeful book to date. It completes a parental double portrait that began with ‘Who Killed My Father?,’ this time describing changes in the life of Louis’ mom after she leaves his dad. Following two exhausting decades of domestic misery, Louis’ mother is finally happier, speaking of her life ‘in the future tense,’ living in Paris and willing for the first time to be called in print by her real name: Monique Bellegueule…As in previous books, Louis commingles the personal and the political. He tackles head on the homophobia, racism, chauvinism and class hatred rampant back home. But again, he’s quick to assert that responsibility lies not with the individual but with systems of self-reproducing masculine and class violence. Looking at a rediscovered photo of his mother as a young woman reminds Louis ‘that those twenty years of devastation were not anything natural but were the result of external forces — society, masculinity, my father — and that things could have been otherwise.'”

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