Nominated by:

Margarita Rudomino All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature, Moscow, Russia

Publisher of nominated edition:

Bloomsbury Publishing, UK

Ignorance

Michèle Roberts      

Longlist 2014

Jeanne and Marie-Angèle grow up, side by side yet apart, in the Catholic village of Ste Madeleine. Marie-Angèle is the daughter of the grocer, inflated with ideas of her rightful place in society; Jeanne’s mother washes clothes for a living and used to be a Jew. When war arrives, the village must play its part in a game for which no one knows the rules – not the dubious hero who embroils Marie-Angele in the black market, nor the artist living alone with his red canvases. In these uncertain times, the enemy may be hiding in your garden shed and the truth can be buried under a pyramid of recriminations.

A mesmerising exploration of guilt, faith, desire and judgement, Ignorance brings to life a people at war.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Michèle Roberts is the author of twelve highly acclaimed novels, including The Looking Glass and Daughters of the House, which won the WHSmith Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and, most recently, the highly-acclaimed Ignorance, which was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013. Her memoir Paper Houses was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. She has also published poetry and short stories, most recently collected in Mud: Stories of Sex and Love. Half-English and half-French, Michèle Roberts lives in London and in the Mayenne, France. She is Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres.

Librarian’s Comments

A keen combined insight into the mechanisms of history and mechanisms of growing adult artistically presented in the context of the Nazi-occupied France during World War 2.

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