The work of French novelist Édouard Louis concerns itself with capturing the past and its indelible effect on the present, as the author explores the facts of his life through novelistic means. In his first autobiographical novel, The End of Eddy (FSG, 2017), translated by Michael Lucey, Louis details the experience of growing up poor and gay in a homophobic, working-class French town; in History of Violence (FSG, 2018), translated by Lorin Stein, Louis endures a brutal attack and then overhears his sister telling her husband about the assault; and in A Woman’s Battles and Transformations (FSG, 2022), translated by Tash Aw, Louis tells the story of his mother’s moving to Paris to live a new life on her own terms. Inspired by Louis’s autobiographical novels, write an essay that considers a time in your life in which you felt the urge to change or become someone new. Try to capture the intricacies of the past—the difficulties, the hopes, the dreams—through a form that reflects the transformative urgency of that moment.
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