Three must-read novels

Three must-read novels

There are those books that upset us. Here are three – an autobiographical novel, a travelogue and a comic crime thriller – that will live long in our memories.

Encore – a story of silent addiction

The well-deserved awarding of the Nobel Prize for Literature to the great French writer Annie Ernaux in 2022 highlighted the importance and requirement of independent writing. For one whose autobiographical work has its roots in sociology, “the intimate is still and always social, because mine pure, where there would be no other laws, history is unthinkable. »

four years later Thirty (Remue-ménage, 2018), Marie Darsigny is still part of that great literary heritage. IN encore – a story of silent addiction, she dissects the demons of her addiction and recounts, from a sociological and poetic point of view, the tension between the extremes of sobriety and intoxication. After searching in vain for the beginning, middle and end of her story, she bravely decides to bear witness to the very heart of her addiction. She therefore refuses to adhere to the traditional narrative scheme and its imperative of redemption, care, renewal. “I take my courage and carefully reveal it by sharing my journey, because it is the plurality of experiences that may free us from the guilt-inducing patterns that are too often heard about drug addiction,” she writes.

It reminds us that there is not only one frame of addiction, only one valid path, neither towards recovery nor towards the right to exist in all its contradictions.

encore – a story of silent addictionby Marie Darsigny, Hustle editions176 pages, in bookstores on February 14, 2023.

In the shadow of the mountains

Silvia Vasquez-Lavado is used to conquests. The first Peruvian woman to conquer the world’s highest peak, the only Latin American woman in the elitist universe of Silicon Valley, learned from childhood to brave storms, both those caused by mother nature and those inherent in wars against male power.

In this autobiography, the mountaineer takes the reader from the first pages into the bottomless void of the Everest crack. We advance with her with careful steps, blinded and deafened by the blizzard, slowed by the bite of the cold. We are aware of the fatalism of failure. Along with this adventure story, she recounts a childhood ravaged by physical abuse, persecution and suppression of her homosexuality, where threats echo the dangers of the mountains.

In a world where strength and capital count for success, Silvia Vasquez-Lado chooses to embrace vulnerability and flaws. “Everyone – actually I especially – like to say that the fight makes us stronger. I have always lived (and almost died several times) by the following philosophy: to survive is to surpass. But the mountains have shown me again and again that strength is not the opposite of tenderness. That the two are symbiotic,” she writes.

In the shadow of the carriers, Silvia Vasquez-Lavado, translated by Anna Souillac, Michael Lafon466 pages.

Harlem Shuffle Book

Harlem Shuffle

Colson Whitehead, one of the few American novelists to win the Pulitzer Prize twice, has written tragic and unrelenting novels that reflect an America torn by racial hatred and intolerance. IN Harlem Shuffle, the writer for the first time chooses the way of humor to approach these questions. It features a New York furniture and appliance salesman and an impeccable father. However, struggling with the difficult endings of the month, Ray Carney allows himself to be tempted by fraud, the main occupation of his ancestors for generations.

When a robbery at the Theresa Hotel goes wrong, Ray is unwittingly drawn into a double life populated by renegade cops, pornographers and petty gangsters. Under the guise of a thrilling detective novel, Colson Whitehead tells a fascinating story about Harlem and the racial and power issues that shape its identity. A wonderful, fascinating and above all very funny moral story.

Harlem Shuffle, Colson Whitehead, translated by Charles Recoursé, Albin Michel380 p.

Read also :
Our favorite books: Châtelaine’s picks from the past few years

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