I read Who Killed My Father by the French writer Edouard Louis on an hour-long train journey before reaching my destination. Although it is pretty short, Edouard Louis has a powerful expression that wraps you up at once. In this biographical memoir, in which he tells about his father and his country, France and many other things, Louis also tells the reader how politics has destroyed the working class. While you wholeheartedly agree with what he said, you will see that you are filled with anger, and you will think again that this system needs to change somehow.
Who Killed My Father begins with Edouard Louis’ relationship with his father when he visits him in his poor neighbourhood. His father was a man who did not receive any education, grew up in a narrow environment, and was therefore imprisoned in certain thoughts. And his financial situation is not at all encouraging, and we can also think of him as macho.
It was really worth reading about his father’s change from the past to the present, who had worked all his life and yet had to spend the rest of his life in bed due to an accident in the factory. It was also a wonderful feeling to witness in a book that parents change children and children change and develop parents when the time comes.
Who Killed My Father also explains how politics affects a certain segment strikingly. I’m sure you can guess what slowly killed Edouard Louis’ father and so many people living in the same conditions as him. I couldn’t help but think about this situation, which is more or less the same in every country. Is there a country where everyone is really happy? I wonder if we will see in our lives that politics provides an equal order not only for the rich but for everyone? Who knows, maybe if more books like these are written and most importantly read, we can witness that everything is slowly changing.
Who Killed My Father is a good book; definitely worth reading, both for the author’s style and the topics he passionately talks about. Since it is so brief, you will finish it in a sitting and place it in your library to read over and over again. I recommend it wholeheartedly. Enjoy!
And while you’re here, I’d recommend you to read Borges and Me by Jay Parini, which is another magnificent memoir.
Who Killed My Father
Who Killed My Father is the story of a tough guy – the story of the little boy I never was. The story of my father.
‘What a beautiful book’ MAX PORTER
In Who Killed My Father, Édouard Louis explores key moments in his father’s life and the tenderness and disconnects in their relationship.
Told with the fire of a writer determined on social justice, and with the compassion of a loving son, the book urgently and brilliantly engages with issues surrounding masculinity, class, homophobia, shame and social poverty.
It unflinchingly takes aim at systems that disadvantage those they seek to exclude – those who have their expectations, hopes and passions crushed by a society which gives them little thought.
‘Édouard Louis is the vanguard of France’s new generation of political writers’
Born Eddy Bellegueule in Hallencourt, France, Édouard Louis is one of the most prominent young voices in the literary French landscape today. His first novel, The End of Eddy, was an instant best-seller, and got translated into 20 languages. He also authored a second novel, Histoire de la violence, and is the editor of a scholarly work on the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. He is the coauthor, with the philosopher Geoffroy de Lagasnerie, of “Manifesto for an Intellectual and Political Counteroffensive”, published in English by the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: