The End of Eddy by Edouard Louis review – growing up gay in a bigoted French village

This autobiographical novel is a candid account of a boy’s painful coming of age in a deprived rural community

Eddy Bellegueule, “born effeminate”, grows up in a deprived French village where racism, misogyny and homophobia are rife. His parents berate him for his “fancy ways”, and at school he becomes the victim of bullying.

The End of Eddy is autobiographical. Louis (only 21 when it was published) revisits through Eddy his impoverished upbringing, his awakening sexuality, and the way that resentment felt en masse by a community can affect the children who grow up within it. Though abusive voices interject from all sides, this is no misery memoir; it’s a candid, necessary call against conventional definitions of masculinity and the fear of difference.

• The End of Eddy by Edouard Louis is published by Harvill Secker (£14.99). To order a copy for £12.74 go to bookshop.theguardian.comor call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99


Claire Kohda Hazelton

The GuardianTramp

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