This short book centers around Louis’s recounting of his father’s masculine and homophobic life, his being rejected by his father, and his reconciliation with him. It was a generous and moving story of love, forgiveness and understanding.
This memoir shows the dark side of France’s health care and social systems. Edouard Louis was fearless in criticizing French politicians for their looking down on the working class and their out of touch with reality attitudes and policies. He was brave for writing this book and for naming all the big names, and was fierce in his criticism.
“Macron, Hollande, Valls, El Khomri, Hirsch, Sarkozy, Bertrand, Chirac. The history of your suffering bears these names.”
I went into this book expecting more writing about policy and social systems (that was my impression of the blurb), but it turned out the political critique was not much covered and only presented at the end of the book.
I think it’s a stretch to blame social systems completely for his father’s condition, but this book overall was beautifully written. It’s a fierce voice fighting for the working class people, and making it clear that politics does matter and does affect the lives of the working class tremendously, in ways that are totally different from the lives of the policy makers.
“the ruling class may complain about a left-wing government, they may complain about a right-wing government, but no government ever ruins their digestion, no government ever breaks their backs, no government ever inspires a trip to the beach. Politics never changes their lives, at least not much. What’s strange, too, is that they’re the ones who engage in politics, though it has almost no effect on their lives.”