The books Michèle Audin: women in times of war

There is a central ethical concern that drives the works of the Algerian-French writer Michèle Audin (1954): to give voice to the forgotten (and in this case, forgotten) of History

The books Michèle Audin: women in times of war

There is a central ethical concern that drives the works of the Algerian-French writer Michèle Audin (1954): to give voice to the forgotten (and in this case, forgotten) of History. Audin is an important scientist, a mathematician, and she knows how to rigorously structure the elements of this brilliant narrative set in Paris between 1934 and 1941.

Translation by Manuel Arranz. Peripheral. 192 pages. 18 € Ebook: 11.99 €You can buy it here.

These are thirteen women who share, in addition to the same last name, Haas, a turbulent period in which the Second World War and horror were already knocking on the doors. Thirteen women (both real and fictional) who appear and reappear, intersecting, in nineteen sequences. History advances like a great steamroller for those who fight, but also for those who remain in the cities between shocks, terrible news and ration cards. There is a global air of vindication and solidarity with the "invisible, forgotten, omitted".

Audin also plays with different styles and ways of counting, including experiments with extreme descriptive precision, verbal games, reconstructive questionnaires on actions, movements and conversations, or pieces where footnotes are as important as the text itself. Although one of the Haas women belongs to the upper class, the majority are young workers (teachers, rural midwives, hairdressers, seamstresses, journalists, librarians, factory workers, maids, piano teachers...) The writing is clean and direct. and it involves us from the first and moving picture, Catherine, that single teacher who goes through a dangerous Paris of demonstrations and riots (year 1934) trying to reach a hospital where a doctor is waiting for her to terminate her pregnancy in exchange for two thousand francs .

The book shows dozens of microworlds and family secrets and is punctuated by the clear memory and the wound of what the First World War meant, but also by the meticulous and irremediable progress of the dark times that are to come and that will not respect social distinctions. (Children and nephews of different social classes will travel equally on the trains, as one of the excellent texts represents). Audin also places special emphasis on the denunciation of sexist violence, on slave labor conditions and on the critical situation of Polish Jews, waiting -urgently, yearning- for French nationality that may save them from the Nazi horror and collaborationist.

Especially beautiful and poetic is Aline with that reunion of two cousins ​​watching Paris from above. Michèle Audin configures an impressive mosaic of strong women who supported on their shoulders the terrible weight of the world that they had to live.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project