Books: French sensation Edouard Louis visits Waterstones

Joe Melia, February 6, 2017

Following on from Yaa Gyasi’s appearance last month, Waterstones in the Galleries will host another rapidly rising star of the literary world this week.

This Thursday, February 9, the critically acclaimed French author Edouard Louis will be at the city-centre bookshop to discuss his daring debut novel The End of Eddy (trans. Michael Lucey; Harvill Secker, £12.99). The 24-year-old’s book has created a sensation wherever it has appeared in Europe and has been translated into 20 languages.

The End of Eddy is a stark autobiographical novel inspired by life in Hallencourt, a village in northern France where Edouard Louis grew up and where many live below the poverty line. It is an extraordinarily authentic portrait of an unbearable childhood spent in a rural working-class environment riddled with contradictions, homophobia and a mistrust of modern society. In 2014 The End of Eddy was awarded the Pierre Guenin prize, which recognises work that challenges homophobic attitudes and campaigns for LGBT rights. 

It has received a great reception in the UK: “courageous, necessary and deeply touching” said The Guardian, while in The Times Robbie Millen wrote: “For the 192 pages of this novel I walked in the shoes of Eddy Bellegueule. I’ve been punched, throttled, humiliated, shamed, denounced, sworn at and spat on again and again…Isn’t the power of fiction wonderful?”

Edouard Gallais, Events Manager at Waterstones Bristol Galleries, said: “Edouard Louis is one of the most celebrated French writers of his generation and The End of Eddy is a rare and brave book, one that has sparked fierce debate about social inequality, sexuality and violence. We are looking forward to hosting a thought-provoking evening and to celebrating the work of one of the literary world’s most exciting new writers.”

Tickets (£5/£3 concs, redeemable on the night on purchase of the book) are available in the shop and online at www.waterstones.com/events/an-evening-with-edouard-louis/bristol-galleries 

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