History of Violence

History of Violence

Summary

** Shortlisted for the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award **

The radical, urgent new novel from the author of The End of Eddy - a personal and powerful story of violence.

I met Reda on Christmas Eve 2012, 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, class, racism, desire and the effects of trauma in an attempt to understand a history of violence, its origins, its reasons and its causes.

'It stays with you' Times

'A heartbreaking novel' John Boyne

Reviews

  • Louis’s greatest strength as a writer is that he feels things so passionately, sometimes to the point of obsession, but that he also has a philosophical turn of mind that explores, rather than neutralises, his feelings.
    Edmund White, Guardian

About the author

Edouard Louis

Édouard Louis is the author of The End of Eddy, History of Violence and Who Killed My Father, and the editor of a book on the social scientist Pierre Bourdieu. His work has been translated into thirty languages, making him one of the most celebrated writers of his generation worldwide.
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