The People of the Village

Tash Aw

  • The End of Eddy by Edouard Louis, translated by Michael Lucey
    Harvill Secker, 192 pp, £12.99, February, ISBN 978 1 84655 900 6
  • Histoire de la violence by Edouard Louis
    Editions du Seuil, 230 pp, £22.00, January 2016, ISBN 978 2 7578 6481 4

A chance encounter on Christmas Eve ends with Edouard Louis, a student at the École Normale Supérieure, taking a stranger back to his apartment. Louis has struggled with the decision to invite the man to share his home and his body, and now, poised on the brink of terrible physical and emotional violence that will have long-standing consequences for both of them, the young men have choices to make. Both have a chance to end the sequence of events that led them to this point: in other words, to flee. But neither does. ‘I believe that each decision made that evening,’ Louis writes in Histoire de la violence, ‘on my part as well as his, rendered all other decisions impossible the very moment afterwards; that each choice destroyed all other possible choices, and that the more he chose, the less free he became.’

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