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Cleaned Out [Paperback]

Annie Ernaux
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 10.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Oct. 1 1991 French Literature Series

Cleaned Out tells the story of Denise Lesur, a 20-year-old woman suffering the after-effects of a back-alley abortion. Alone in her college dorm room, Denise attempts to understand how her suffocating middle-class upbringing has brought her to such an awful present. Ernaux, one of France's most important contemporary writers, daringly breaks with formal French literary tradition in this moving novel about abortion, growing up, and coming to terms with one's childhood.


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Product Description

From Amazon

With extraordinary voice and poignant bravery, this novel allows the reader to experience a 20-year-old woman's reflections as she lies suffering from a back-alley abortion. Denise Lesur, alone in her college dorm room, reviews her coming-of-age in postwar France and her passages in life from a middle-class upbringing to what may be her last day--a brilliant treatment of coming to terms with one's childhood by one of France's most important and innovative contemporary writers.

From Publishers Weekly

"So I got involved, heavily involved, deeply involved, right down to ending up with a tube in my womb, all because of a not-very-clever comment, all because of myself." In this first novel, written in 1974, the Prix Renaudot-winning author's narrator is a 20-year-old college student who lies pondering the childhood that brought her bleeding and alone to her dorm room following a back-alley abortion. But Ernaux has no bent for bathos: for her the abortion serves as a metaphorical rather than moral backdrop against which Denise Lesur, the not particularly lovable heroine, recounts the events of a life that closely parallels Ernaux's own. Denise is the petted only child of small shopkeepers who slave to keep her in a private Catholic school, where she discovers a "finer" existence and turns away from her parents, working to expunge their traces from her speech, her clothes, her ambitions and herself. Cleaned Out is a tough story of young girl's coming-of-agestet hyphens per Web. in postwar France, a story filled with the spirit of Elvis, Sartre, jazz and the nasty little verities of adolescence.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars effortlessly stylized March 4 2004
Format:Paperback
Typically, stream-of-consciousness type fiction picks at my nerves, but Ernaux's version of this style stays largely connecte. You aren't forced to jump around within the narrator's mind, instead the thoughts meld together in a pattern fairly easy to understand.
Her memories (I've read that this is largely autobiographical) of school & her parents shop, are absorbing & powerful- her blatant admittance of shame regarding the juxtopositon between life at home & life at school (the extreme difference in class status)- is brave as well as cringeworthy.
I admire Ernaux's ability to create a character that is in many ways unlikeable, yet at the same time understandable. She does an amazing job getting into the confused mind of a growing girl & the hypocritical shameful thoughts one is prone to at that age.
It was wonderful to read a not quite coming of age story set in France- the only reason it escapes the 5 star rating was due my boredom with the narrator's sexcapades- certainly a large chunk of a teenaged girls fixation in life- but I just didn't care that much about her 'redheaded boy'.
Recommended!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book... Feb. 5 2002
Format:Paperback
Ernaux writes in an amazingly real, raw, "in your face" style which is not for the faint of heart...this is what draws me to her works. Ernaux's descriptions utilize all of one's senses, making you feel truly part of the story. Her description of the main character in the book, with all of her flaws and charms, is extrememly rich. This book is an exploration of gender and class, and about the inner dialogue of a woman trying to figure out who she is and where she fits in life.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down July 22 1998
Format:Paperback
This book left me with a chilling feeling... the description is superb and the tales are often painful and often humorous, a voice we don't often get to read. Definitely recommend it!
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down July 22 1998
By srp1@axe.humboldt.edu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book left me with a chilling feeling... the description is superb and the tales are often painful and often humorous, a voice we don't often get to read. Definitely recommend it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book... Feb. 5 2002
By jlbremer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Ernaux writes in an amazingly real, raw, "in your face" style which is not for the faint of heart...this is what draws me to her works. Ernaux's descriptions utilize all of one's senses, making you feel truly part of the story. Her description of the main character in the book, with all of her flaws and charms, is extrememly rich. This book is an exploration of gender and class, and about the inner dialogue of a woman trying to figure out who she is and where she fits in life.
4.0 out of 5 stars effortlessly stylized March 4 2004
By lady detective - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Typically, stream-of-consciousness type fiction picks at my nerves, but Ernaux's version of this style stays largely connecte. You aren't forced to jump around within the narrator's mind, instead the thoughts meld together in a pattern fairly easy to understand.
Her memories (I've read that this is largely autobiographical) of school & her parents shop, are absorbing & powerful- her blatant admittance of shame regarding the juxtopositon between life at home & life at school (the extreme difference in class status)- is brave as well as cringeworthy.
I admire Ernaux's ability to create a character that is in many ways unlikeable, yet at the same time understandable. She does an amazing job getting into the confused mind of a growing girl & the hypocritical shameful thoughts one is prone to at that age.
It was wonderful to read a not quite coming of age story set in France- the only reason it escapes the 5 star rating was due my boredom with the narrator's sexcapades- certainly a large chunk of a teenaged girls fixation in life- but I just didn't care that much about her 'redheaded boy'.
Recommended!
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