My Escape by Benoite Groult
An Autobiography

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Synopsis

This witty autobiography captures the rich and varied life of a renowned French author and pioneering feminist, through the obstacles and movements in twentieth-century France.
 
Born in 1920 in Paris, Benoite Groult obtained the right to vote only when she was twenty-five years old. She married four times, bore three children, underwent several illegal abortions, became a writer after she turned forty, and a feminist in her fifties. Groult chronicles her experiences and her intellectual developments through successive phases—as an obedient child, an awkward and bookish adolescent, and a submissive wife—until finally becoming a liberated novelist.
 
Here, she recounts the childhood trips she spent with her family, Paris during the occupation, her marriages, motherhood, and her continuous fight for women’s rights. At ninety-one years old, she concludes that she has been, and still is, a happy woman—lucky to have captured her freedoms, one by one, paying for them, delighting in them, and loving them. Sexy, chatty, and full of shrewd insight, My Escape covers her years of struggle and success—as a daughter, lover, writer, wife, mother, and reluctant socialite—and draws a portrait of the role of French women in the twentieth century.
 

About Benoite Groult

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Benoîte Groult was born in Paris in 1920. She is a renowned and best-selling French novelist, essayist, and a founder of modern feminism. She has been a member of the jury of the Prix Femina since 1982, and in 2010 was promoted to the rank of Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur. Her autobiography My Escape is an international best seller, selling hundreds of thousands of copies in Holland and more than a million copies in Germany. Nichole Gleisner received her PhD in French literature from Duke University in 2011. She has published on the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, and this is her first translation for Other Press. She currently lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut.
 
Published October 23, 2012 by Other Press. 383 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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Confined to occupied Paris with her family, she writes unreservedly about French anti-Semitism (“The Jews had their own fate which didn’t concern me”), her brief first marriage to a dying consumptive poet and her sexual enlightenment thanks to a newly liberated Paris full of American soldiers.

Oct 05 2012 | Read Full Review of My Escape: An Autobiography

Publishers Weekly

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Groult, a proud, sassy feminist, is well known in France for—among other ouvres—her then-racy novel Salt on Our Skin and her widely-read Ainsi soit-elle, which alerted many French readers for the first time to the practice of female genital mutilation.

Dec 03 2012 | Read Full Review of My Escape: An Autobiography

BC Books

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Her descriptions of the landscape of her life–Brittany, Ireland–are breathtaking and I found myself remembering my own childhood holidays in Brittany through her words: ‘the smell of seaweed, the silvery sounds of the water as it gently separates into a thousand rivulets,’ ‘without any age except...

Nov 03 2012 | Read Full Review of My Escape: An Autobiography

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