Getting Lost (Compact Disc)
In Getting Lost, Annie Ernaux — now 82 and this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature winner — turns auto fiction into an art form. Writing in a compact and declarative style, this is a haunting diary of her affair at 52 years old with a 35-year-old Soviet diplomat posted to Paris. An autobiography like none I’ve ever read — the addiction of love totally unexpected in a woman of her standing, the agony and despair of an affair.— Carolyn
Getting Lost is the diary Annie Ernaux kept during the year and a half she had a secret love affair with a younger married man, a Russian diplomat. Her novel, Simple Passion, was based on this affair, but here her writing is immediate, unfiltered. In these diaries, it is 1989, and Annie is divorced with two grown sons, living outside of Paris, and nearing fifty. Her lover escapes the city to see her there, and Ernaux seems to survive only in expectation of these encounters, saying his desire for me is the only thing I can be sure of. She cannot write; she trudges distractedly through her various other commitments in the world; she awaits his next call; she lives only to feel desire and for the next rendezvous. When he is gone and the desire has faded, she feels that she is a step closer to death. Lauded for her spare prose, Ernaux here removes all artifice, her writing pared down to its most naked and vulnerable. Getting Lost is as strong a book as any she has written, a haunting, desperate view of a strong and successful woman who seduces a man only to lose herself in love and desire.