The Lover

An international best-seller with more than one million copies in print and a winner of France's Prix Goncourt, The Lover has been acclaimed by critics all over the world since its first publication in 1984.Set in the prewar Indochina of Marguerite Duras's childhood, this is the haunting tale of a tumultuous affair between an adolescent French girl and her Chinese lover. In spare yet luminous prose, Duras evokes life on the margins of Saigon in the waning days of France's colonial empire, and its representation in the passionate relationship between two unforgettable outcasts.Long unavailable in hardcover, this edition of The Lover includes a new introduction by Maxine Hong Kingston that looks back at Duras's world from an intriguing new perspective--that of a visitor to Vietnam today.From the Hardcover edition.
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The Garden Square

A young woman, who works as a maid for a living, takes her charge out to play in a Parisian garden square. Sitting on a bench, she starts talking to a stranger, a travelling salesman, and their conversation gradually turns into an exchange of confidences, as she speaks of her desire for a more stable future and he of his feelings of rootlessness and disillusionment. As the afternoon wears on, the two sense an increasing connection between them.Understated and impressionistic, and consisting almost entirely of dialogue, The Garden Square is one of Marguerite Duras's finest novels, which she also adapted for the stage.
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Yann Andrea Steiner

A memoir by the author of The Lover and Summer Rain describes her relationship with a man thirty years her junior who has helped her overcome, despair, illness, and alcoholism.From Publishers WeeklyIn this lyrical memoir, French novelist Duras sketchily describes her affair with Yann Andrea Steiner, a man 30 years her junior, who helped her overcome alcoholism and depression. To further explore the bounds of unconventional or illicit love, Duras interweaves a semi-mythic tale about Johanna, an 18-year-old camp counselor who loves a six-year-old orphan named Samuel Steiner. Joanna tells Samuel that in 10 years they will reunite at midnight on a beach and make love. Samuel, we learn, is a Holocaust survivor who saw his sister murdered by a German soldier. There is yet another story-within-a-story: Johanna's fanciful allegory of cruelty and compassion involving a boy named David, a shark who wears a baseball cap and a weeping Fountain which dances a Guatemalan polka. The disparate parts of this mannered, self-indulgent exercise do not cohere into a whole. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library JournalIt is the summer of 1980, the summer that brought solidarity to Gdansk, Poland. A young man fleeing his own demons arrives at a Normandy seaside resort to meet "a woman old already and crazy with writing." She is famous and alone; he is a knowing child. Their love story forms the core of this mesmerizing narrative in which the injustice of world events sinks into a larger pool of evil that haunts both him and her: the Nazis' murder of Jews in World World II. Duras's tribute to the young lover, Steiner, glides seamlessly (translated by the intrepid Bray) into an all-embracing Durasian allegory of desire and the sea. The writer has daily observed a child camper and his teenaged counselor on the beach; as the writer and her lover grow closer, they are transformed in the narrative into this young couple knocking against the mysteries that engulf them. Duras remains perplexing, frank, and marvelous; this work will speak to avid readers of her work.- Amy Boaz, "Library Journal"Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Destroy, She Said

In this classic novel by the best-selling author of The Lover, erotic intrigue masks a chillingly deceptive form of madness. Elisabeth Alione is convalescing in a hotel in rural France when she meets two men and another woman. The sophisticated dalliance among the four serves to obscure an underlying violence, which, when the curtain of civilization is drawn aside, reveals in her fellow guests a very contemporary, perhaps even new, form of insanity.Like many of Duras's novels, Destroy, She Said owes much to cinema, displaying a skillful interplay of dialogue and description. There are recurring moods and motifs from the Duras repertoire: eroticism, lassitude, stifled desire, a beautiful woman, a mysterious forest, a desolate provincial hotel.Included in this volume is an in-depth interview with Duras by Jacques Rivette and Jean Narboni.
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Hiroshima Mon Amour

One of the most influential works in the history of cinema, Alain Renais's Hiroshima Mon Amour gathered international acclaim upon its release in 1959 and was awarded the International Critics' Prize at the Cannes Film festival and the New York Film Critics' Award. Ostensibly the story of a love affair between a Japanese architect and a French actress visiting Japan to make a film on peace, Hiroshima Mon Amour is a stunning exploration of the influence of war on both Japanese and French culture and the conflict between love and inhumanity.
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Four Novels

In this volume of four short novels, Duras demonstrates her remarkable ability to create an emotional intensity and unity by focusing on the intimate details of the relationships among only a few cental characters: from the park bench couple in "The Square" (1955) to the double love triangle in "10:30 on a Summer Night" (1960), each novel probes the depths and complexities of human emotion, of love and of despair. Exceptional for their range in mood and situation, these four novels are unparalleled exhibitions of a poetic beauty that is uniquely Duras.
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India Song

Unseen voices narrate this story of the affair between the haunting Anne-Marie Stretter and the disgraced French vice-consul in Làhore. In the India of 1937, with the smell of laurels and leprosy permeating the air, the characters perform a dance of doomed love to the strains of a dying colonialism.Originally commissioned as a play for Britain's National Theatre,India Song was made into a film that premiered at the 1975 Cannes Film Festival. American Cinematographer praised it for its “imaginative use of voices creating an echo chamber effect that perpetuates the past," and Molly Haskell called it “Marguerite Duras' most perfectly realized film, the most feminine film I have seen, a rarefied work of lyricism, despair, and passion, imbued with a kind of primitive emotional hunger that is all the more moving for its austere setting."
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Abahn Sabana David

"Duras's language and writing shine like crystals."—The New Yorker"A spectacular success. . . . Duras is at the height of her powers."—Edmund WhiteAvailable for the first time in English, Abahn Sabana David is a late-career masterpiece from one of France's greatest writers.Late one evening, David and Sabana—members of a communist group—arrive at a country house where they meet Abahn, the man they've been sent to guard and eventually kill for his perceived transgressions. A fourth man arrives (also named Abahn), and throughout the night these four characters discuss existential ideas of understanding, capitalism, violence, revolution, and dogs, while a gun lurks in the background the entire time.Suspenseful and thought-provoking, Duras's novel calls to mind the plays of Samuel Beckett in the way it explores human existence and suffering in the confusing contemporary world.Marguerite Duras wrote...
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