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A Life of Her Own: The Transformation of a…
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A Life of Her Own: The Transformation of a Countrywoman in 20th-Century… (edició 1992)

de Emilie Carles (Autor)

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294367,331 (3.92)3
Published in France in 1977 as Une Soupe aux Herbes Sauvages, this autobiography of a peasant woman reared in the stony insularity of a tiny Alpine village reveals the unfolding of a formidable person. Carles, born in 1900, writes of her life in the mountains coountry of southern France as comprising "so many different things, funny or tragic, picturesque or cruel." She takes the reader into her beloved Claree Valley where she as a young child in a motherless family labored alongside her father in the fields; it is where her schooling began and where she recognized her intelligence as the key to the outer world. Primitive village life and the patriarchal though loving structure of her family are background for Carles's full, nonconformist life as teacher, farmer, mother, feminist and political activist. The memoir brings to life a captivating woman… (més)
Membre:mknapil
Títol:A Life of Her Own: The Transformation of a Countrywoman in 20th-Century France
Autors:Emilie Carles (Autor)
Informació:Penguin Books (1992), Edition: Reprint, 271 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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A Life of Her Own: The Transformation of a Countrywoman in Twentieth-Century France de Emilie Carles (Author)

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The simply written autobiography of a courageous woman who grew up in a poor and conservative peasant family in the Hautes Alpes of France in the early twentieth century. Given the unusual gift of higher education, she rebelled against the narrow conventions within which she had been raised, speaking out against patriarchy, chauvinism, nationalism, militarism—even the Catholic Church and its God. She saw it as her role as a longtime schoolteacher in her native valley to shape and broaden the perspectives of the peasant children whom she taught, and nearing death in her mid-seventies, reflected that it was “splendid to leave life with the thought that you have done the maximum possible to defend the ideas you believe just and human, and to help those who need to be helped without discrimination.” An unusual, thoughtful, albeit sometimes naïve, look at life. ( )
1 vota sallysvenson | Apr 30, 2012 |
Haute-Alpes. ( )
  kitchengardenbooks | Jul 23, 2009 |
A Life of Her Own (1977) is a memoir by Frenchwoman Emilie Carles born in 1900 in a remote Alpine village near the Swiss/Italian/France border, sort of the poor Appalachia of France. There are stories of hard work, poverty and a lifestyle akin to the Middle Ages - they didn't even have a metal wood-burning stove, much less running water or electricity. And we learn of Emilie's family - mother/father, 5 siblings and 5 uncles - all of whom but two die young from accident, war and suicide - a record of de-population not uncommon in 20th century France. It's a story of outright survival, strength and personal integrity in the face of adversity and hardship. It's an uplifting memoir and one feels Emilie is a friend and mentor who lived an admirable life.

I read the book as part of a course in modern French history taught by Yale professor John Merriman (free online). Novelistic in scope, it is much more than one woman's life, her story is "dense with history", without being a history book. I came away with a deeper understanding, not only of French history, but generational differences between those born in the 19th and 20th century. The change experienced during Emilie's lifespan is perhaps most striking since her village is so remote and isolated, attitudes and world view from father to daughter is a gap of many centuries.

A Life of Her Own was a best-seller in Europe when it came out in the late 70s, under the much better title A Wild Herb Soup. The small village Val-des-Prés has since become a mecca for tourists to see her house, the fields, the places she taught school, etc... The book (and Emilie herself) played no small role in stopping a highway construction project that would have ruined the picaresque Clarée Valley. Only in 1991 did the book finally appear in English translation. With the recent success of Little Heathens (2007), Emile's story is equally engrossing if not more amazing, it should find a wider audience.

--Review by Stephen Balbach, via CoolReading (c) 2008 cc-by-nd ( )
2 vota Stbalbach | Feb 24, 2009 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Carles, EmilieAutorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Destanque, RobertCollaborateurautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Goldberger, Avriel H.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Dès les premiers beaux jours de l'année, alors que la montagne est encore imprégnée par l'humidité de la neige à peine fondue, j'ai pour habitude de me reposer, allongée dans mon fauteuil sur la terrasse du Vivier.
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No n'hi ha cap

Published in France in 1977 as Une Soupe aux Herbes Sauvages, this autobiography of a peasant woman reared in the stony insularity of a tiny Alpine village reveals the unfolding of a formidable person. Carles, born in 1900, writes of her life in the mountains coountry of southern France as comprising "so many different things, funny or tragic, picturesque or cruel." She takes the reader into her beloved Claree Valley where she as a young child in a motherless family labored alongside her father in the fields; it is where her schooling began and where she recognized her intelligence as the key to the outer world. Primitive village life and the patriarchal though loving structure of her family are background for Carles's full, nonconformist life as teacher, farmer, mother, feminist and political activist. The memoir brings to life a captivating woman

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