Friday 21 October 2022

Happening by Annie Ernaux

Paperback, 77 pages

Published February 13th 2019 by Fitzcarraldo Editions (first published March 14th 2000)

Original Title: L'évènement

Memoir / Library

 It was recommended at bookclub, and well it was short one! Just what I needed, I finished it in an hour.

It is the story of how she in the 60s tried to get an abortion. But it was illegal, and she tried and tried to find one. She even tried a knitting needle on herself, and then she went to some quack and later ended up in the hospital. And it was harrowing. 

It was a constant stream of memories without a break, and it turned out to be really interesting, and so very NOW.

In 1963, Annie Ernaux, 23 and unattached, realizes she is pregnant. Shame arises in her like a plague: understanding that her pregnancy will mark her and her family as social failures, she knows she cannot keep that child. This is the story, written forty years later, of a trauma Ernaux never overcame. In a France where abortion was illegal, she attempted, in vain, to self-administer the abortion with a knitting needle. Fearful and desperate, she finally located an abortionist, and ends up in a hospital emergency ward where she nearly dies. In HAPPENING, Ernaux sifts through her memories and her journal entries dating from those days. Clearly, cleanly, she gleans the meanings of her experience. 


  1. so very now is right and scary now and then

    1. What she put herself through in her despair was insane

  2. Oof this would be a hard one to read but I feel like an important read.

  3. Sounds like it was a harrowing experience!

  4. It's not something I would usually read but it looks interesting

  5. SO relevant. And still scary. Although at first I thought you wrote that she was a woman IN HER 60s. I was like - yikes! That's old.

    1. Omg yeah I could NOT do that. Give birth then, nooo.
      Lol, she was in her early twenties

  6. Done in an hour?! Glad it managed to handle the topic well in such a short time frame.



Copyright © 2008-2020 Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell All Rights Reserved. Proudly powered by Blogger

  © Blogger template Starry by 2008 Modified by Lea

Back to TOP