Franke Visiting Fellow Sheila Heti on Annie Ernaux for the New York Times

October 20, 2022

The New York Times has published a guest essay by author Sheila Heti, our Fall 2022 Franke Visiting Fellow, on Annie Ernaux, winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature. Heti plumbs Ernaux’s understanding of the past and highlights the homage Ernaux pays to her parents—in both the prose and the processes that make up her writing.

Heti connects the labor of Ernaux’s parents—who owned a grocery store and cafe—to the subtle means through which the Nobel Prize–winning author signals the labor of writing: “These words didn’t just appear on the page. Writing is a form of work, and it happens in time, much like running a cafe.”

Heti—the author of 10 books, including the novels Pure Colour, Motherhood, and How Should a Person Be?—is fascinated by processes. Join us on November 8, at 4 p.m. for Heti’s public lecture, “What Is a Process?” in which she invites us into the processes—some expected and others surprising—that she uses in the writing of her own books.

Learn more.