The Years

Written by:
Annie Ernaux
Narrated by:
Anna Bentinck

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
September 2019
8 hours 11 minutes
The Years is a personal narrative of the period of 1941 to 2006 told through the lens of memory, impressions past and present—even projections into the future—photos, books, songs, radio, television, and decades of advertising and headlines, contrasted with intimate conflicts and written notes from six decades of diaries. Local dialect, words of the time, slogans, brands, and names for ever-proliferating objects are given a voice here. The voice we recognize as the author's continually dissolves and re-emerges. Ernaux makes the passage of time palpable. Time itself, inexorable, narrates its own course, consigning all other narrators to anonymity. A new kind of autobiography emerges, at once subjective and impersonal, private and collective. On its 2008 publication in France, The Years came as a surprise. Although Ernaux had, for years, been hailed as a beloved bestselling and award-winning author, The Years was in many ways a departure: both an intimate memoir written by entire generations and a story of generations telling a very personal story.
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A somewhat boring description of the life of a person who seems to be ashamed of both her past, present and future. The ambition is actually great, but it doesn’t reach up. The narrators poor French is annoying.

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Paula R.

A marvellous and moving study of time passing. Ernaux captures intimate details of her own personal history and places them within the great sweep of world events. She does not use the first person, instead keeping a certain distance by using the third person. She uses photos of herself taken at different times as a way of examining her own life, while setting it in a specific historical moment. You don't have to be French to find this process fascinating. The experiences feel recognisable. The writing is precise, intelligent and achingly poignant.

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Barbara L.

This is a wonderful memoir, I think best enjoyed by a mature woman.

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David Moore

It's easy to see why Ernaux won the Nobel Prize. The book is an intellectual tour de force ... Roland Barthes and Pierre Bourdieu combined with a novelist of intense subjectivity; so one gets an historical sociological and political survey of modern France (and the post WWII era in "the west") ong with an intimate - and feminist, in the best possible way - near autobiography of a very, very perceptive woman.

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Dorothy T.

I was born in 1942, so this felt like a review of my life, except in French.

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