'Before I had a chance to rebel against the world of my childhood, that world rebelled against me. In truth, confronting my parents, my social class, its poverty, racism and brutality came second. From early on I provoked shame and even disgust from my family and others around me. The only option I had was to get away somehow. This book is an effort to understand all that.'édouard Louis grew up in Hallencourt, 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?
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.