Praise for the original French edition (La Vie exterieure) of Things Seen: "La Vie exterieure perfectly illustrates writing's raison d'etre." Christine Rousseau, Le Monde (Paris) "La Vie exterieure bears witness to the desire, the need to capture life, even the insignificant. It attests to the memory that we have of others, including strangers, and in whom Annie Ernaux searches for and recognizes herself. La Vie exterieure is also a book of assessment and indignation. The writer reacts to human distress, war, poverty, and to the arrogance of power." Johanne Jarry, Le Devoir (Montreal)B "The pieces in Things Seenare from another battlefront: daily life in 1990s France, interrupted by poverty, news reports and bomb threats in the Metro. Ernaux captures faces and scenes in a fleeting, ghostly way. Her observations are intended as evidence, many of them made on the train/bus system in and around Paris. This is a beautiful translation -- Ernaux, poorly translated, seems heavy and difficult. "Things Seen" is light; it asks little of readers. Things blur by -- war, petty theft, small acts of terrorism. There's nothing you can do." - Susan Salter Reynolds, La Times
About the Author
Annie Ernaux was born in 1940 in Lillebonne, France. Her autobiographical narrative, La Place,won the Prix Renaudot, and her books, A Woman’s Story and A Man’s Place, were named New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Ernaux’s most recent novel, Les Années, is widely considered one of her greatest works. Jonathan Kaplansky has translated numerous works, including Hélène Dorion's novel Days of Sand and Hélène Rioux's novel Wednesday Night at the End of the World. Brian Evenson is a professor and director of the Literary Arts Program at Brown University. He is the author of Altmann’s Tongue (available in a Bison Books edition) and, most recently, Last Days and Fugue State.