History of Violence is international bestselling French author Edouard Louis's autobiographical novel about surviving a shocking sexual assault and coping with the post-traumatic stress disorder of its aftermath.
Thanks to translator Lorin Stein [the translation of History of Violence] has retained its complexity, its startling physicality and its moral subtlety in English ... 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.... The novel is superb at vividly recording the post-traumatic repercussions of rape.
Édouard Louis does not hold back... Louis not only possesses the righteous indignation of youth, but the momentum of a true literary phenomenon.... History of Violence is a slim but densely layered novel that begins with raw urgency, but then slows and circles the attack, hovering over it with an unnerving luxury.
a shocking, powerful book that doubles as an indictment of homophobia and racism in French culture — just don’t judge it by the opening sentence, which is so tangled and dense that diagramming it would require a grammatical savant.