Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

I Will Write to Avenge My People

The Nobel Lecture

by Annie Ernaux


Published for the first time in a beautiful collectible edition, the essential lecture delivered by the 2022 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Annie Ernaux, translated by Alison L. Strayer.

«J’écrirai por venger ma race»

It was as a young woman that Annie Ernaux first wrote these words in her diary, giving a name to her purpose in life as a writer. She returns to them in her stirring defense of literature and of political writing in her Nobel Lecture, delivered in Stockholm on December 7, 2022.

To write of her own life, she asserts, is to “shatter the loneliness of experiences endured and repressed;” to mine individual experience is to find collective emancipation. Ernaux’s speech is a bold assertion of the capacity of writing to give people a sense of their own worth, and of one writer’s commitment to bearing witness to life, its joys and its injustices.

Includes Annie Ernaux's Nobel lecture, her Nobel banquet speech, a congratulatory speech by Professor Anders Olsson, Chair of the Nobel Committee for Literature, and the Nobel opening address by Professor Carl-Henrik Heldin, Chairman of the board of the Nobel Foundation.


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The author of some twenty works of fiction and memoir, ANNIE ERNAUX is considered by many to be France’s most important writer. In 2022, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She has also won the Prix Renaudot for A Man's Place and the Marguerite Yourcenar Prize for her body of work. More recently she received the International Strega Prize, the Prix Formentor, the French-American Translation Prize, and the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation for The Years, which was also shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. Her other works include Exteriors, A Girl's Story, A Woman's Story, The Possession, Simple Passion, HappeningI Remain in DarknessShameA Frozen Woman, and A Man's Place

Other books by Annie Ernaux