In a deceptively succinct, factual style, she lays bare troubling secrets and bodily experiences often hidden away: illegal abortion, dementia, cancer, sex. Ernaux is adamant: she writes novels, fiction. The book details the desperate search for a backstreet abortionist as the days and weeks of her unwanted pregnancy tick past, when no one will share any information on where to go. Fiction in translation Fiction features. The English-speaking world is waking up to her books in part because of the recent success of her defining work The Years , translated by Alison L Strayer, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker international prize this year and also took a major translation prize. Ernaux had separated from her husband. Ernaux wrote the diary to cope. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. The book is also about the incongruous outbursts.