Fact or fiction: autobiographical novels with Édouard Louis – books podcast – The Guardian
Édouard Louis received huge acclaim in France at the age of 21 for his debut book, The End of Eddy, an autobiographical novel about a gay child who grows up surrounded by poverty and homophobia in a post-industrial French town. Despite France’s long history of autofiction, Louis’s book sparked a hunt for the truth, with French media descending on his home town in Picardy to talk with locals and try to determine what was real.
Sian Cain speaks to Louis, now 24, about his book and its reception, then is joined by Claire Armitstead and Richard Lea to discuss why blends of fact and fiction sometimes make readers uneasy, along with the best and worst examples of autofiction.
The End of Eddy by Édouard Louis (Harvill Secker)