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  • Published: 13 June 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784706074
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $24.99

History of Violence

The radical, urgent new novel from the author of The End of Eddy – a personal and powerful story of violence

** Shortlisted for the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award **

The radical, urgent new novel from the author of The End of Eddy - a personal and powerful story of violence.

I met Reda on Christmas Eve 2012, at around four in the morning. He approached me in the street, and finally I invited him up to my apartment. He told me the story of his childhood and how his father had come to France, having fled Algeria.
We spent the rest of the night together, talking, laughing. At around 6 o'clock, he pulled out a gun and said he was going to kill me. He insulted me, strangled and raped me. The next day, the medical and legal proceedings began.

History of Violence retraces the story of that night, and looks at immigration, class, racism, desire and the effects of trauma in an attempt to understand a history of violence, its origins, its reasons and its causes.

'It stays with you' Times
'A heartbreaking novel' John Boyne

  • Published: 13 June 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784706074
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Edouard Louis

Édouard Louis is the author of two novels and the editor of a book on the social scientist Pierre Bourdieu. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian and Freeman’s. His first two novels, The End of Eddy and History of Violence, were translated into thirty languages, and have made him one of the most celebrated writers of his generation.

Also by Edouard Louis

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Praise for History of Violence

Once more, Édouard Louis has given us something unique; a book so direct, shocking and moving it is like holding live fire in one's hands as the pages turn. Like all great writers, he shows us something of the self so that we might better understand something of the world.

Andrew McMillan

[B]oth brave and ambitious in its determination never to let its reader, or its author, escape lightly the damaging realities it describes.

Tim Adams, Observer

In this moving autobiographical novel . . . Louis's visceral story captures the overwhelming emotional impact and complicated shame of surviving sexual assault.

Publishers Weekly

[A] provocative, incendiary and stunning second book.

Vice UK

[A] harrowing piece of autofiction… History of Violence is a slim but densely layered novel that begins with raw urgency.

Johanna Thomas-Corr, The Times

[A] heartbreaking novel… I find myself captivated by Édouard Louis's books and his raw honesty.

John Boyne, Irish Times

Louis’s greatest strength as a writer is that he feels things so passionately, sometimes to the point of obsession, but that he also has a philosophical turn of mind that explores, rather than neutralises, his feelings.

Edmund White, Guardian

An intense and uncomfortably thrilling book, which uses the harrowing events of that Christmas Eve as a basis for a wider exploration of class, race and individualism... a novel that is unflinching in its examination of class and discrimination.

Tash Aw, Times Literary Supplement

History of Violence…pack[s] total immersion and cool detachment into a single page. As translator, Lorin Stein keeps faith with its rawness — and its refinement.

Boyd Tonkin, Financial Times

A painful and astonishing book, it tells the story of that night and its aftermath with ruthless poise and clinical precision… With almost superhuman compassion and moral courage, Louis traces the origins of Reda’s suffering by reconstructing his father’s story.

Matt Rowland Hill, Literary Review

A sharp, lucid meditation on how violence perpetuates itself in communities—by engendering fear, and then cruelty.

New Yorker

[Louis] writes with this amazing honesty and fantastically uncensored, brutal, beautiful clarity.

Ben Whishaw, Another Man