The radical and urgent new novel from the author of The End of Eddy
I met Reda on Christmas Eve 2012. I was going home after a meal with friends, at around four in the morning. He approached me in the street, and finally I invited him up to my apartment. He told me the story of his childhood and how his father had come to France, having fled Algeria.
We spent the rest of the night together, talking, laughing. At around 6 o'clock, he pulled out a gun and said he was going to kill me. He insulted me, strangled and raped me. The next day, the medical and legal proceedings began.
History of Violence retraces the story of that night, and looks at immigration, dispossession, racism, desire and the effects of trauma in an attempt to understand, and to outline, a history of violence, its origins, its reasons and its causes.
‘A brilliant novel… courageous, necessary and deeply touching’ Guardian
Édouard Louis grew up in a village in northern France where many live below the poverty line. His bestselling debut novel about life there, The End of Eddy, has sparked debate on social inequality, sexuality and violence.
It is an extraordinary portrait of escaping from an unbearable childhood, inspired by the author’s own. Written with an openness and compassionate intelligence, ultimately, it asks, how can we create our own freedom?
‘A mesmerising story about difference and adolescence’
New York Times
‘Édouard Louis…is that relatively rare thing – a novelist with something to say and a willingness to say it, without holding back’
‘Louis’ book has become the subject of political discussion in a way that novels rarely do’
Garth Greenwell, New Yorker
Édouard Louis is the author of two novels and the editor of a book on the social scientist Pierre Bourdieu. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian and Freeman’s. His first novel, The End of Eddy, was translated into more than twenty-five languages, and has made him one of the most celebrated writers of his generation.