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  • Published: 4 April 2019
  • ISBN: 9780141987996
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99

Returning To Reims




The bestselling French memoir of social class, return and loss

"There was a question that had come to trouble me a bit earlier, once I had taken the first steps on this return journey to Reims...

Why, when I have had such an intense experience of forms of shame related to class, shame in relation to the milieu in which I grew up, why, when once I had arrived in Paris and started meeting people from such different class backgrounds, I would often find myself lying about my class origins... why had it never occurred to me to take up this problem in a book?"

Returning to Reims is a breathtaking account of one man's return to the town where he grew up after an absence of thirty years. It is a frank, fearlessly personal story of family, memory, identity and time lost. But it is also a sociologist's view of what it means to grow up working class and then leave that class; of inequality and shifting political allegiances in an increasingly divided nation. A phenomenon in France and a huge bestseller in Germany, Didier Eribon has written the defining memoir of our times.

  • Published: 4 April 2019
  • ISBN: 9780141987996
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99

Praise for Returning To Reims

This intensely personal account of Didier Eribon's family is a fascinating and compelling read...The book is beautifully written (and as beautifully translated). It is at once pleasureable and edifying to read

Joan W. Scott

Returning to Reims played a capital role in my life... I was overwhelmed by this book. I felt I was reading the story of my life.

Edouard Louis

Hypnotic ... a gripping read

Daily Telegraph

Eribon's memoir is fascinating: full of fretful honesty, battling with shame around his background and shame at being ashamed

The Times

This is a beautiful book about suppression, losing touch with your roots, and regaining balance

Art in America

Retour à Reims could be a novel. It has all the allure and attraction of one

Claire Devarrieux, Libération

Eribon offers up a magnificent example of an enlightened life liberated by theory, written in a style that deftly moves between the intimate, the social and the political

Annie Ernaux

A stunning book -- vital and important

Andrew McMillan

A deeply intelligent and searching book, one that makes you re-consider the narrative of your own life and reframe the story you tell yourself... Didier Eribon understands how deep the roots of inequality go

Hilary Mantel

An honest and moving personal narrative that is skilfully threaded through sociological and political analysis. I was captivated from beginning to end

Diane Reay, author of Miseducation: Inequality, Education and the Working Classes

A brilliant little book...a touching memoir of sexual awakening, and a gallery of philosophical ideas and characters

Steven Poole, The Observer

This is a self-excoriating memoir... [Eribon] writes as someone who has scrubbed hard at the markings of destiny

Marina Benjamin, New Statesman

A powerful book and one that I enjoyed immensely

Geoffrey Beattie, Irish Times

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