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Édouard Louis

13 March 2024

In the Utzon Room

Talks & Ideas

Join Édouard Louis in his first appearance in Sydney and discover how a young gay man from the working class French provinces transformed both himself and the contemporary conversation about class, power and inequality.

What I tried to do was turn my own life into a weapon to challenge and to question social violence.

Édouard Louis

Reinventing a past, present and future

Édouard Louis’s first creative act was to reinvent himself - discarding his given name and becoming one of France’s most exciting and consequential writers today. His autobiographical novels cover his unbearable childhood in a working-class French town (The End of Eddy), a graphic description of sexual violence (History of Violence) his ultimate understanding that the father who had rejected him was brought to an early death by France’s brutal industrial system (Who Killed My Father) and, a moving appreciation of how his mother, inspired by her son, transformed herself (A Woman’s Battles and Transformations).

His latest novel, Change (March 2024), tackles the great themes of his work – social class and transformation – and looks at the perils of leaving the past behind.

In his first appearance in Sydney Édouard Louis will engage in a conversation that will delight and charm, as well as challenge our easy assumptions about class, the progressive left, and art’s duty to confront and make us uncomfortable.

Presented by Sydney Opera House


Édouard Louis

Édouard Louis is the author of two novels and the editor of a book on the social scientist Pierre Bourdieu. His work has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian and Freeman’s. His first two novels, The End of Eddy and History of Violence, were translated into thirty languages, and have made him one of the most celebrated writers of his generation.

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