A Life of Her Own

A Life of Her Own

The Transformation of a Countrywoman in 20th-Century France

Written by: Emilie Carles
Written by: Robert Destanque
Translated by: Auriel H. Goldberger

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140169652
  • 304 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


First published in France in 1977, this autobiography vivifies the captivating Carles from her peasant origins in a tiny Alpine village through her work as a teacher, farmer, mother, feminist and political activist.

Table of Contents

A Life of Her OwnAcknowledgments
Translator’s Note
Part One
Chapter 1: A Tree That Died for Want of Sap
Chapter 2: Wolves in the Valley
Chapter 3: Tied Down on a Mule
Chapter 4: A Family Portrait
Chapter 5: Learning to Read
Chapter 6: They Died for Their Country
Chapter 7: And the Wind Would Carry Me Off Like a Bird
Chapter 8: Just As It Was in the Middle Ages
Chapter 9: Farewell, Joseph
Chapter 10: Thou Shalt Not Kill
Chapter 11: “It’s When You Spits”
Chapter 12: Beware the Loose Woman
Chapter 13: Three Stories Plus One More
Chapter 14: One of Their Own
Chapter 15: Fatback and Wine-Soaked Bread
Chapter 16: The Story of Marie-Rose
Chapter 17: If I’d Been a Washerwoman Beside a Stream…
Chapter 18: “Joseph, You’re a Thief!”
Chapter 19: A Second Family

Part Two
Chapter 20: You Have a Right to a Life of Your Own
Chapter 21: Paris Is Well Worth a Mass
Chapter 22: Against All Comers
Chapter 23: Does Your Teacher Hit You?
Chapter 24: My Four Wards
Chapter 25: The Golden Age
Chapter 26: Like a Bird Fallen from the Nest
Chapter 27: The Phony War
Chapter 28: Nine Names for a Hostage List
Chapter 29: Schoolteacher in Val-des-Prés
Chapter 30: Farewell to Jean Carles
Chapter 31: The Wolves Are Back
Chapter 32: November 11, 1977