Book 0196

Germinal by Emile Zola

Donated by Rose Fenton, who says...

Zola’s naturalist novel set in the inhumane conditions of a mining community in northern France in the 1860s, politicised me as a 12 year old, awakening me to the injustices of the world. The vivid portrayal of the impact on the human spirit of the extreme poverty, ruthless exploitation and oppression of the miners by a callous and indifferent ruling class has haunted me ever since.
Germinal is filled with compelling characters, debates about the kind of world we want to live in, family dramas, revenge, sexual awakenings – yet despite the violence and despair there is always strong desire to go on living, to believe in and fight for a better world.

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