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My Barbaric Years (Mes années barbares)

Author:

Publisher:

Original Language: French | 224 pp. | January 2016

2 Seas Represents: World Excl French.

Rights Sold: Germany (Bastei Lübbe)

Over 15,000 copies sold; TV rights sold!

MEMOIR

“The book that will change our point of view towards homeless people.” – Tout pour les femmes

“Having an apartment is a little bit surrealistic. Me, I still have half of my brain in homeless mode. They give us the apartment but we are not used to it. We keep sleeping outside and we use the apartment to take a shower.” – Anne Lorient, Le Grand Soir 3

 

A tale that wavers between anger and a desire for reparation, between violence and hope. In the vein of shocking abuse-and-survival memoirs like Toni Maguire’s Don’t Tell Mummy, Marion, 13 ans pour toujours (Marion, Forever 13, about cyber-bullying) and Brûlée vive (Burned Alive).

Life took a lot away from me before it gave me anything: incest, countless rapes, 15 years of homelessness… After a living hell, I want to find peace.

“For years, I never dared to see a doctor because I didn’t want to have to show my body, which is covered in scars. For years, I never dared to see a dentist, because opening my mouth and feeling hands near my neck would cause panic attacks. Like when my brother wanted to force me to keep still; like when street rapists muffled my screams.

The first 40 years of my life were barbaric ones.

Horrifying. Suffocating.

I want the next 40 to be good ones. For my children’s sake, and for my own.

In this book, I tell about being raped by my brother, about my father turning a blind eye, about my escape and fall, the 15 years spent in Paris without a roof over my head. About being raped again throughout those years – twenty, thirty times and more; after a certain point, I stopped counting – by street thugs and by businessmen in suits and ties leaving glass-and-steel office buildings. They crushed my life and stole my childhood, my whole life.

I couldn’t write everything, because some violence is inaudible… I always saw the fear in the eyes of the psychologists and the people who wanted to help me. It was too much for them. So what about me?

Now I am raising my children; motherhood has partially repaired me; I am devoting myself to reinventing a peaceful life, filled with love.

For many homeless people, it isn’t a lack of money that put them on the street.

It’s because they have been hurt, and they don’t know what normal life is. I’m writing for them too.”

Anne Lorient

FOREIGN COVERS

(Germany, Bastei Lubbe)