I Remain in Darkness
An extraordinary evocation of a grown daughter's attachment to her mother, and of both women's strength and resiliency. I Remain in Darkness recounts Annies attempts first to help her mother recover from Alzheimer's disease, and then, when that proves futile, to bear witness to the older woman's gradual decline and her own experience as a daughter losing a beloved parent. I Remain in Darkness is a new high water mark for Ernaux, surging with raw emotional power and her sublime ability to use language to apprehend her own life's particular music.
"Again blurring the line between memoir and fiction, Ernaux continues the story of her family in journal form … Several recurring themes are woven throughout, notably those of time, art and the relationship between mother and daughter. Like Ernaux's other work (Shame; Simple Passion), this is "not literature" exactly, but "an attempt to salvage part of our lives, to understand, but first to salvage," poignant though limited in its reach." —Publishers Weekly
"This slim volume by noted French writer Ernaux (Simple Passion) is not a straightforward medical account of her mother's death from Alzheimer's; instead, it is a collection of the notes, in their original form, that Ernaux jotted down at the time of her mother's illness. "When I write down all these things, I scribble away as fast as I can (as if I felt guilty), without choosing my words." Here in their raw, uncensored form are the "vestiges of pain" at the anger, guilt, and grief that Ernaux felt during her mother's two-year decline." —Library Journal