The Young Man

Dreamscape Media. Sept. 2023. tr. from French by Alison L. Strayer. 0:34 hrs. ISBN 9781666646450. $17.99. MEMOIR
Nobel Prize winner Ernaux (The Years) presents an account of her yearlong relationship with a man 30 years her junior. Ernaux began an affair with a student, referred to as “A.”, when she was 54 and he was 24. Their relationship evokes memories of her youth, transporting her to her scandalous, free days as a student while also empowering her and making her feel ageless. As they discuss having a child together, the difference between their ages becomes even more stark. Tavia Gilbert gives a strong performance of a self-assured woman who is cognizant of the disparities in the relationship while openly and shamelessly acknowledging how she exploited him for her own gain. Listeners will enjoy this thoughtful, emotional portrait of a woman looking back on her full life as an author and a sensual woman.
VERDICT Although this audio is brief, listeners will be riveted by Ernaux’s exquisite insight and heartfelt memories of a precious year in her life. This latest addition to Ernaux’s oeuvre is a must-purchase for all nonfiction audio collections.
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