Pub Date 26 Mar 2019
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This bracing new nonfiction book by the young superstar Edouard Louis is both a searing j’accuse of the viciously entrenched French class system and a wrenchingly tender love letter to his father.
Highly acclaimed for The End of Eddy, Edouard Louis in Who Killed My Father rips into France’s long neglect of the working class and its overt contempt for the poor, accusing the complacent French—at the minimum—of negligent homicide.
“Racism,” he quotes Ruth Gilmore, “is the exposure of certain groups to premature death.” And Louis goes to visit the ugly gray town of his childhood to see his dying father—barely fifty years old, he can hardly walk or breathe: “You belong to the category of humans whom politics consigns to an early death.” It’s as simple as that.
But hand in hand with searing, specific denunciations are tender passages of a love story between a father and son badly damaged by shame, poverty and homophobia, but still so alive. Tenderness reconciles them just as the state kills off his father. Louis goes after the French system with bare knuckles but then turns to his long-alienated father with open arms: this passionate combination makes Who Killed My Father a heartbreaking book.