Discovered in 2014 with his feisty novel En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule, relating the violence in the worker’s world where he grew up, young Edouard Louis has moved along and is back with a strong prosecution case against modern politics. Three good reasons to get to know this author.
Because he is the Xavier Dolan of literature
They are both young, insolent and talented. At the heart of their work: social violence, homophobia, masculinity and the suffering of childhood. Just like Xavier Dolan in the cinema, the literary position of Edouard Louis is ambiguous and original, in both form and content. In his first novel, En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule (Enough of Eddy Bellegueule) (2014), Edouard Louis was condemned by his family when he accused his parents of being homophobic, violent, fascists and racists. Yet, it’s to defend his father and declare his love that the young writer has returned on the literary scene with his latest very political book that is presented as a cry of rage and is dedicated to … Xavier Dolan.
Because his character is just as intriguing as his books
Willing to take risks or a requirement for literary transparency? Since the beginning of his career, Edouard Louis plays with fire by using the auto-fiction genre. As they follow his penmanship, readers discover his childhood, his ignorant and alcoholic parents, his sexual contacts, his love and even his rape viol. Accused of having betrayed his family and his worker background with his first novel, sold at more than 300,000 copies, the writer-sociologist heir of Bourdieu is back in the spotlight in 2016, upon the publication of his second book Histoire de la violence (A story of violence). Here he tells how (while assuring each line is true) he was raped in December 2012 under the threat of a weapon by a certain « Reda ». But a few days after the publication of his novel, when Reda is arrested for rape then locked in jail during eleven months, Edouard Louis retracts his accusation, wishes to stop this story and asks for a non-suit dismissal. Did fiction go beyond reality?
For his no-filter social critic
Edouard Louis does not hesitate to speak out loud and clear on topics that can create conflict. He had already given us the premises with his two first novels by being cash when it came to the themes of social violence and homophobia, in his third and latest book Qui a tué mon père, (Who killed my father) is no exception to the rule. The writer dwells on his childhood, his family and more particularly his father.
During its 90 pages, the novel accuses all those who make his worker father seriously ill, even « almost dead ». The guilty ones? Those whose systems and governments have humiliated, broken, reduced to misery his father: from Chirac to Sarkozy including Hollande, Martin Hirsch for having done away with the RSA (revenue of solidary activity) and Macron for having lowered by five euros the APL student aid for lodgings. More than committed literature, Edouard Louis created a literature of confrontation by forcing the reader to look with a magnifying glass at the dramas caused amongst the most deprived by certain political decisions. In short, a kind of J’accuse by Zola, in a 2018 version.
Qui a tué mon père, Edouard Louis, published by Le Seuil, €12
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