Read A Frozen Woman by Annie Ernaux Linda Coverdale Tanya Leslie Online

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A Frozen Woman charts Ernaux's teenage awakening, and then the parallel progression of her desire to be desirable and her ambition to fulfill herself in her chosen profession - with the inevitable conflict between the two. And then she is thirty years old, a teacher married to an executive, mother of two infant sons. She looks after their nice apartment, raises her childreA Frozen Woman charts Ernaux's teenage awakening, and then the parallel progression of her desire to be desirable and her ambition to fulfill herself in her chosen profession - with the inevitable conflict between the two. And then she is thirty years old, a teacher married to an executive, mother of two infant sons. She looks after their nice apartment, raises her children. And yet, like millions of other women, she has felt her enthusiasm and curiosity, her strength and her happiness, slowly ebb under the weight of her daily routine. The very condition that everyone around her seems to consider normal and admirable for a woman is killing her. While each of Ernaux's books contain an autobiographical element, A Frozen Woman, one of Ernaux's early works, concentrates the spotlight piercingly on Annie herself. Mixing affection, rage and bitterness, A Frozen Woman shows us Ernaux's developing art when she still relied on traditional narrative, before the shortened form emerged that has since become her trademark....

Title : A Frozen Woman
Author :
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ISBN : 9781888363388
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Frozen Woman Reviews

  • Rowena
    2019-03-16 21:15

    “In a few years I will become a girl emptied of herself, swollen with romantic ideas in a world reduced to other people’s expectations.”- Annie Ernaux, A Frozen WomanThis is the tale of an unnamed female narrator who ends up following the path expected of her by society. Yet, she is ambitious and also wants to become a teacher and find happiness. But society tells her that “one must live one’s femaleness in its entirety to be ‘complete’ and therefore happy.” And that completeness involves both marriage and motherhood.During her childhood and through her early teenage years the narrator doesn’t realize that the unconventional roles her parents play are frowned upon by society; for example, her mother settles the accounts, while her father (shockingly, to most) peels the potatoes. Her parents want her to be happy and they often tell her that life for a woman “doesn’t require wearing a bridal veil.”.It seems that whatever is taught in the home is so easily eroded by contact with the outside world. The narrator ends up aspiring for the same things as the other girls once she has more interaction with this world. The first thing she aspires for is to be desired by men:“The body under constant surveillance and restraint, abruptly shattered into a heap of pieces–eyes, skin, hair–that must be dealt with one by one to reach perfection.”Ernaux’s depictions of motherhood were stifling and very real. One thing that stood out to me was the homogeneous (ideal) image of motherhood that was presented by the Church and the schools, yet not all mothers fit this image: “I see the ideal mother as part of a way of life that has precious little to do with ours.”This was also a tale of control, society and religion controlling women’s actions, activities, feelings, and appearances. Being an intelligent and headstrong woman, our narrator’s insights about these facts were very interesting but also sad: “Sisyphus and that rock he rolls endlessly up the hill– at least it’s dramatic, a man on a mountain outlined against the horizon, whereas a woman in her kitchen tossing some butter into a frypan three hundred and sixty-five times a year, that’s neither heroic nor absurd, that’s just life.”This book was incredibly moving. I think for most women who read it, it will be a reminder of our years of socialization and how gender roles and expectations are forced on us, and are reinforced in many ways, for example, through religion. The book evokes the struggles, the misinformation, the social cues we pick up from all around us of how to be, what is expected of us as women. And what I also found interesting was the investigation into gender roles, and how we as humans lend a hand to these by how we react to them, especially how we react to those who do not fall into those roles.This was the tale of a woman who was so unfulfilled, who might have been happier had she gone the path she chose, instead of the path society forced upon her. I really did feel so much empathy for her, especially in her married life. I have yet to read any Simone De Beauvoir, but her book “The Second Sex” comes up a lot in this book.I rarely read a book that fills me with so much despair. It’s clear that women now have more choices than ever before, but I spared a thought for the women who came before me who had very little support from society to pursue their dreams.

  • Camille
    2019-03-07 00:17

    Alors c'est l'histoire d'une femme, qui a lu le Deuxième sexe et grandi dans un foyer où la mère travaillait et le père épluchait des patates, elle a fait des études et veut échapper au destin féminin attendu - mari et enfants -, mais finalement elle n'y arrive pas. Annie Ernaux se raconte infatigablement. Je ne l'ai pas beaucoup lue, mais franchement, si ça n'avait pas été pour répondre à des questions de mes petites élèves, je n'y serais pas retournée. J'avais découvert la Place, les Armoires vides, et un autre roman aussi vite oublié que lu, en cours de littérature française contemporaine à Madrid (mais oui, ça existe). Rapidement, je l'ai classée dans la catégorie des auteurs français fascinés par eux-mêmes. Le fait de n'avoir pas d'autre sujet que soi-même peut m'exaspérer vite. Le fait de reprendre une écriture blanchie à la Camus, et d'imiter un stream of consciousness tout VirginiaWoolfien de son état, peut également m'ennuyer rapidement. On dirait une longue litanie plaintive, on a tout le temps envie de lui remonter le menton d'une pichenette pour qu'elle se reprenne un peu. J'ai tout juste été intéressée. Évidemment, si je revenais aujourd'hui au roman qu'Ernaux a écrit sur sa mère, à celui qu'elle a consacré à son père, je serais sans aucun doute plus intéressée que je ne l'étais à l'époque par la thématique du transfuge social (Édouard Louis, Dider Eribon, m'entendez-vous). En tout cas, je suis contente d'avoir pris mon courage à deux mains pour lire la Femme gelée, dans ce week end où de toutes façons, j'étais trop malade pour sortir, alors autant bouquiner chez moi tranquillement. Car ce roman est entièrement consacré au fait d'être femme. Contrairement à ce qu'on résume trop vite, ce n'est pas qu'un livre sur la maternité et ses obligations, c'est un livre sur le chemin qui mène à ces obligations. Moins de la moitié du texte se rapporte à l'histoire de l'auteure et de son premier mari. Elle évoque avec une grande justesse ce que c'est que d'être une femme, ce que c'est que d'avoir des poupées, de devoir cuisiner, d'apprendre à force de commentaires sur son physique à prendre soin de soi. Elle sait trouver le mot pour évoquer le tiraillement nécessaire, entre les aspirations intellectuelles et créatrices, et la force sociétale qui fait qu'elle se mariera, qu'elle aura effectivement des enfants. Malheureusement, c'était nécessaire d'écrire ces choses il y a trente ans, et c'est encore nécessaire de les écrire aujourd'hui. Si vous ne me croyez pas, je vous renvoie à la ribambelle de chroniques Goodreads qui taclent Ernaux comme étant une mauvaise mère, simplement parce qu'elle évoque la difficulté d'être mère, dans un contexte toujours extrêmement misogyne. Parce que c'est difficile, et que beaucoup de femmes n'osent pas le dire. En fait, il m'a fallu lire la Femme gelée pour réaliser qu'Annie Ernaux était Emma Bovary. Elle le remarque elle-même d'ailleurs, et je me demande ce que ça doit faire de ressembler à ce point à un personnage de Flaubert (c'est sans doute assez angoissant). Je veux dire, je n'avais jamais fait le rapprochement, mais elle a grandi à Yvetot que diable, elle a renié ses parents, elle a cherché l'ascension sociale en se mariant, elle n'a pas été intéressée par la naissance de ses enfants... Si elle l'avait pu, Emma Bovary aurait très clairement avorté, puis elle aurait écrit les Armoires vides (si si, je suis sûre).Mais en lisant l'histoire de cette femme qui se retrouve coincée, engagée à vie dans un destin qu'elle n'a pas choisi, plus encore que l'histoire de Bovary, j'avais l'impression de lire le roman de ma mère, elle aussi issue de milieux humbles, elle aussi devenue professeure, elle aussi coincée à la maison avec plusieurs enfants, et un mari qui nous nourrissait de chips quand il devait s'occuper de nous. Plus inquiétant encore, j'ai lu le texte dans l'édition intégrale d'Ernaux chez Quarto ("Écrire la vie"), qui contient des photographies personnelles de l'auteure... Et elle ressemble drôlement à ma mère (ainsi qu'à Juliette Binoche). Ce n'est peut-être pas très important, mais vous pourrez faire de cette information ce que bon vous semble.

  • M. Sarki
    2019-03-03 23:07

    Rarely does Ernaux repeat herself, and always she has something important to say. Her positions, and stories, may not always be the most popular, but she makes perfect sense to me. She is, in my opinion, one hell of a woman. And a very good writer as well.After having a couple days to think more about what I read, it is obvious to me that Annie was pretty angry at herself for falling into this man-family-homemaker trap that she never ever truly wanted for herself. But she is not a man hater. She is bitingly real about the stupid stereotypes women inflict on themselves, and mother-in-laws, for example, who promote their submissive motherly, female behavior. But Annie never gets in your face about things she finds disgusting. But she is sarcastic, funny, and clear about what she finds repulsive in herself and those she is supposed to love.

  • M. Sarki
    2019-03-12 20:52

    Rarely does Ernaux repeat herself, and always she has something important to say. Her positions, and stories, may not always be the most popular, but she makes perfect sense to me. She is, in my opinion, one hell of a woman. And a very good writer as well.After having a couple days to think more about what I read, it is obvious to me that Annie was pretty angry at herself for falling into this man-family-homemaker trap that she never ever truly wanted for herself. But she is not a man hater. She is bitingly real about the stupid stereotypes women inflict on themselves, and mother-in-laws, for example, who promote their submissive motherly, female behavior. But Annie never gets in your face about things she finds disgusting. But she is sarcastic, funny, and clear about what she finds repulsive in herself and those she is supposed to love.

  • Łukasz
    2019-03-03 21:08

    "La femme gelée" fait état, d'une manière très mélancolique et avec énormément de style, du plus grand malaise de l'humanité.

  • Kathy
    2019-03-13 01:14

    This was a book club selection and not of my choosing. Our selector this month found it on a list of Motherhood books. Yeah, bad Mothers, maybe.I had to keep reminding myself that Ernaux was born in 1940 and her tales of marriage are from France in the early 1960s. Oh, and that the book is translated from French so who knows how much nuance was lost?Despite the reminders, I just couldn't relate to Ernaux at all. Her parents encouraged her to pursue a career but she wanders through school and doesn't apply herself. She marries young while barely knowing the guy and ends up trapped at home with a baby. Trapped is how she felt; that's not my description. Then, when her first son is just getting into school, she chooses to have another kid.Huh?Our group was divided in their feelings. A few really liked the book (even with its trapped tales of woe). A few agreed with me in that they just didn't dig it.I thought Ernaux trapped herself through inertia and was depressed. I also suspect she emphasized all of the negatives of Motherhood for the sake of a "good" story. Just not my bag at all.

  • Mathildewind
    2019-02-26 22:08

    étouffant. une envie de hurler. vie de femme qui se transforme en piège, en prison que l'on accepte en silence. et pourtant tout avait si bien commencé. un modèle parental "moderne" (papa fait la cuisine, maman à autre chose à faire que la poussière et le tricot). encouragements à faire des études, à ne pas être une fifille comme les autres. élève brillante. liberté. rêves. puis l'influence des garçons sur le comportement des filles. celles qui se marient tôt, puis deviennent mère. je ne ferai pas cette erreur moi. et pourtant. comme une fatalité. l'homme. le mariage précipité. la bouffe. la vaisselle. les courses. le ménage. le bébé. le "métier" de femme à plein temps, travail à la chaîne, sans repos. les études abandonnées. le cauchemar. l'auteure semble toujours s'étonner d'en être arrivée là. pourtant très lucide. la révolte sourde. ce bouillonnement. l'injustice. l'inégalité. un ton cynique, rebelle.

  • Ingrid Joselyne
    2019-03-18 00:55

    Fuerza narrativa poderosa la de Ernaux, que parece susurrarte la esencia que se esconde tras cada una de las cosas.

  • Agnès
    2019-03-10 16:51

    Annie Ernaux à ses débuts, déjà un style affûté et poignant. La condition féminine à travers les 30 premières années de l'auteure, pour arriver à cette femme gelée malgré les études, les promesses à soi-même et les espoirs.

  • Ket Lamb
    2019-03-04 23:15

    A Frozen Woman is one young French woman's long litany of stream-of-consciousness complaints as she graduates from school into motherhood. This emotionally distant story reads like something that would have been assigned in a 1970's Women's Studies class. Granted, Annie Ernaux deftly captures that period of time, where women are realizing how society pushes them into an unwanted gender defined role and keeps them tied to the home front, but she doesn't offer a satisfying resolution. The protagonist, who is encouraged and supported by her unconventional parents to make something of her life, stupidly throws it all away by marrying before earning her teaching credentials. After following her struggle to get into college, it is annoying to watch her cast aside her dreams for some guy readers barely get to know. Once she's wed, she views motherhood as an attainable adventure in her wasteland of boredom and depression. Although she has the choice to pursue the career she's worked hard for, this 20-year-old wife warily opts to have a baby instead. It's hard to care about an educated woman who makes dumb choices, especially when she's constantly whining about the consequences. She is the one who freezes herself in a role she doesn't want, not society. When she makes the same mistake TWICE, I wanted to throw the book at her. Something must have gotten lost or frozen in translation because this irritating book fails on so many levels, including character development. I only read it because my book club chose it. Freeze it out.

  • Sara Hubbard
    2019-02-20 20:19

    A Frozen Woman is about a woman growing from childhood into adulthood and her struggle to conform with the traditional roles of a wife and mother, and how hollow she feels trying to stifle herself into fitting in with this convention. I loved this book because I know I am not alone and that living for yourself as well as your family does not make you horrible, just challenged. It does not mean you love your children any less, even it others might make this assumption. I talked about this book in greater depth, and in relation to my life on my blog, here: http://www.sara-hubbard.com/2009/12/f...

  • Margot
    2019-02-18 18:07

    An amazing book.It will grip your insides in a sow clench, take the air out of your lungs.It happens in two parts. In the first half, you're introduced to the main protagonist, you listen to her recounting her upbringing, her native town, her attitude at school and how other moms were so different from hers. Then, you follow her dreams, her ambitions, her romantic life as a literature student who likes to travel and would rather read at cafés than have a job. If you're a girl who has ambitions, you relate a lot to how she is trying to navigate the world. But even if you're a man, I don't see how you wouldn't be touched by her. And then, in the second half, at some point, things start deteriorating and you're just frozen in a state of horror because suddenly you're asking yourself "wait, how did this happen ?" She took all the good steps, she went and dared to be bold and took risks and aimed high and what suddenly is happening now? Even though the title is the Frozen Woman, the state I always had in mind while reading this second half was melting, actually a non-state, a non-being, or rather progressing towards non-being, and that's how you feel it. The writing is clear and deeply sensual, the sentences themselves are flowing and the rhythm matches the story in a way that you physically feel the events happening. You feel her consistency shattering, you feel it melting, and not evaporating because at least, evaporation has this light, luminous feeling, but dirty melting snow next to the road doesn't make for a poetic image. And it's not poetic. It's tragically realistic.You get all stuck in this melting matter because, you counted the number of remaining pages several times now, the story is still going but it's still shattering, scene after scene. At this point, either you had to put the book down because you were afraid for your mental stability, or you're screaming in your head, you're torturing yourself to maintain hope, fifteen pages left, you could still have a happy ending, ten pages left, maybe the sweet release of death will come... It's terrifying. You really want to scream at the end.

  • Rachel
    2019-03-11 21:06

    Probablement un de mes livres préférés de 2017. C'est pour moi un monument de féminisme intimiste sur la façon dont la société 'gèle' les femmes en les attachant à leur foyer sans possibilité d'expression autres. C'est un bouquin qui m'a pris aux tripes tant les descriptions d'Annie Ernaux de son entourage et de ses sentiments sont vivants, c'est un bouquin qui m'a mis en boule et m'a donner envie de hurler de rage, bref c'est un bouquin qui donne envie de se révolutionner et de renverser la société, de ne jamais cesser de lutter, de ne pas se laisser enfermer. J'ai vécu jour après jour la différence entre lui et moi, coulé dans un univers rétréci, bourrée jusqu'à la gueule de minuscules soucis. De solitude. Je suis devenue la gardienne du foyer, la préposée à la subsistance des êtres et à l'entretien des choses.

  • Davidlodge82
    2019-03-04 17:49

    en un monólogo de 224 páginas la autora relata desde la infancia hasta los treinta años de edad en una Francia de hace 40-50 años donde la mujer se ve avocada a representar cierto papel impuesto y servir para facilitar la vida a su marido. El problema es el gran sacrificio que tiene que hacer una mujer hace treinta​ años y ahora si quiere conseguir aspiraciones "fuera de sus labores". No le pongo mas puntuación porque me hacen falta mas diálogos llega a cansar el monologo del narrador de la historia.

  • Ingrid
    2019-02-19 01:09

    De l'enfance (1950) à l'âge adulte (1970).Comment être une fille avec pour modèle des parents hors normes car égaux et les histoires Surannées pseudo chrétiennes.Comment être tiraillée à l'adolescence entre être intelligente mais seule ou désirée mais muette.Comment à l'âge adulte concilier maison marie-claire, boulot et enfants (la porte de sortie espérée aux solitudes métaphysiques?) Avec un mec "qui travaille lui".Etre en 2018 et voir que RIEN n'a changé. Et pourtant je suis de base assez indifférente au féminisme. Elle frappe fort et juste.

  • Gwenn Desliens
    2019-03-18 22:51

    Annie Ernaud comme d’habitude sait pointer les petits gestes anondins qui en disent long. Dans ce récit autobiographique nous voyons comment malgré une éducation égalitaire et une culture féministe, une femme se trouve piégée dans le statut d’épouse et mère. C'est le récit de la perte du temps pour soi, de la perte de la volonté pour soi, des souhaits, des rêves remplacés par les besoins, la survie. Comment un homme peut sans exercer de violence, mais simplement en laissant couler les choses, vous priver de tout. Comment les désirs de la société deviennent des ordres.

  • Cyril Nguyen
    2019-03-04 19:17

    J'ai adoré me plonger dans l'enfance, l'adolescence et les débuts de la vie adulte d'Annie Ernaux qui raconte sa place et son évolution en tant que femme dans la société. J'ai vraiment eu l'impression de découvrir la jeunesse d'une femme, et de me rendre compte à quelle point la société de l'époque (qui a encore du chemin à faire aujourd'hui) l'a forcée à rentrer sur les rails de la soumission à l'homme et à la norme en vigueur. En tant qu'homme, ça m'a permis de mieux comprendre ce qu'une femme peut vivre et ressentir.

  • Madeleine LeBlanc
    2019-03-18 16:55

    J'ai aimé le récit et l'écriture de cette femme pionnière parmi les féministes françaises. Les difficultés au début de son mariage, la conciliation travail-famille, les relations avec ses parents et sa belle-famille sont parmi les thèmes principaux abordés dans le livre. La 'femme gelée' fait référence à la fonction pré-établie de la femme dans la société auquelle nulle ne peut échapper sans risque de confrontation. Le tout est légèrement déprimant...

  • Laura
    2019-03-12 00:52

    Las razones de la desigualdad de género convertidas en novela ( o automedicación). Una reflexión genial tanto para nosotras como para ellos ( sobre todo, para aquellos que defienden el feminismo con la boca grande en foros públicos y ejercen actitudes de microorganismo -o sin micro- en el ámbito doméstico.

  • María Ramos
    2019-03-09 00:00

    Esta novela autobiográfica narra la infancia, adolescencia y juventud de una niña libre, diferente y salvaje que emprende el largo camino de la aceptación inconsciente de los roles de género. Historia de una metamorfosis demasiado común con episodios de auténtica pesadilla.

  • Raquel
    2019-03-13 21:11

    Annie Ernaux ha sido mi gran descubrimiento del 2016. Con una voz propia, este pequeño pero denso libro profundiza en la cotidianidad de las mujeres escarbando en su superficie y extrayendo frustraciones, silencios, temores. Simplemente, maravilloso.

  • Marie-Hélène
    2019-03-12 17:07

    Ouch.Cette phrase, qui résume bien le livre : "Toute mon histoire de femme est celle d'un escalier qu'on descend en renâclant."

  • Raquel Menéndez
    2019-03-12 16:58

    Terrible pensar que este libro tiene, desde luego, cierta actualidad. Por lo demás, me gusta mucho el ritmo de Ernaux, muy cercano al monólogo interior.

  • Lisa
    2019-03-18 17:14

    This is an autobiographical story of a woman who ends up married with two kids and feeling very lost and resentful. She begins as a young girl whose unconventional parents encourage, even push, her academically. They don't have her do any chores so she can study. As a tween and adolescent she becomes preoccupied with matters of appearance and attracting boys, but always with a commitment to a career of her own, and "freedom." In the end she almost makes it -- dating and marrying a boy who treats her as a peer, until they stop eating in restaurants. Then all planning, shopping, prep, and clean-up is her job, even though she objects and appeals to the boy for help. To him it's simple -- she's a girl, she has to do all the work.The writing is sort of stream-of-consciousness, and it feels a bit more like reading a straightforward diary than a constructed novel. It made me feel grateful for my relationship, in which I can be myself.

  • Teryll
    2019-03-21 22:55

    This book was selected by one of the members of Kabooki, our book club here in Los Angeles. My understanding is that this book is somewhat biographical or memoir-ish in nature. It follows the story of a young woman who recounts her childhood in France and that of her early 20's, finishing college, getting married, having kids and coming to grips or perhaps not coming to grips with all these various roles that women play - teacher, wife, mother, daughter. This was definitely not one of my favorite reads as it plays out much like a journal and because it's in the first person, I never really felt like she grew up or matured in certain arenas of her life.At times, Ernaux writes beautiful prose, especially about sexuality and blossoming into womanhood, but these moments were sparse for me. I guess I expected more from the book than what I got.

  • René
    2019-03-17 16:58

    This book combines an attempt at unraveling the deterministic forces that herd women into corralled existences with an an autobiographical account of the authors' life through France in the 60s and 70s. As such, it's an interesting experiment. However, the author's motivations come of as disingenuous and her own feelings and sentiments are glossed over when they seem to embarrass her. As such, it reads like a long laundry list of stuff she does from day to day, without direction. I found it to be an unconvincing read.

  • Charlaralotte
    2019-03-13 17:08

    Wow! What a surprise. Found this slim book while searching my parents' shelves for a non-decaying, hypoallergenic book. A ferocious and detailed account of how society socializes girls into "feminine" roles. Spar yet powerful writing encapsulates one girl's "maturation" into a wife and mother. Not a pretty site. A stunning indictment of insidious patriarchal systems. Yet another book to remind me why I never wanted to get married or have children.

  • Abby
    2019-02-18 21:03

    Grim little novel about how terrible it is to be a woman. I don't think her observations were off base, as many of the narrator's psychic woes are not unfamiliar to me, but it is so weighty, without any glimmer of hope or relief or escape. I suppose this is the fate of many women, and I suppose that was Ernaux's point, but I had to turn my face away in the end. The portrait of motherhood is especially bleak.

  • Jessica Delgado
    2019-03-16 20:59

    "There's been a mistake:Jack of all trades was a Jill". This work perfectly demonstrates the restraints of the female spirit, in an attempt to work out being a circle amongst square pegs. Of going against the grain that demands female normality and silence, it serves as a fierce provider into what it really is like to be a woman.

  • JackLeGeth
    2019-03-08 19:14

    Wow. C'était dur de rentrer dedans, dans ce style comme si l'auteure avait jeté tout un tas de pensées qui s'agitent. Mais bordel, quelle violence, quelle haine de la différence homme-femme, de la condition féminine, du mariage, des gosses, de l'hétéronormativité qu'on nous impose. Comme une envie de jeter des bombes et surtout de ne jamais devenir une femme gelée à son tour.