Abahn Sabana David by Marguerite Duras

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"Duras's language and writing shine like crystals."—The New Yorker

"A spectacular success. . . . Duras is at the height of her powers."—Edmund White

Available 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 dozens of plays, film scripts, and novels, including The Ravishing of Lol Stein, The Sea Wall, and Hiroshima, Mon Amour. She's most well-known for The Lover, which received the Goncourt Prize in 1984 and was made into a film in 1992. This is her third book to be published by Open Letter.

Kazim Ali is a poet, essayist, and novelist, and has published a translation of Water's Footfall by Sohrab Sepehri in addition to co-translating Duras's L'Amour. He teaches at Oberlin College and the University of Southern Maine.


About Marguerite Duras

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Marguerite Duras is the author of many novels and screenplays, including the film script for Hiroshima, Mon Amour. One of France's most important literary figures, Duras died in Paris in 1996.From the Hardcover edition.
Published May 23, 2016 by Open Letter. 130 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Abahn Sabana David

It's hard to imagine anything by durable French author Duras left to translate into English, but here it is. Written late in her career, when she was abandoning her communist sympathies, this novel is set in 1968 in an unnamed country controlled by a repressive political party. As night falls col...

Jun 15 2016 | Read Full Review of Abahn Sabana David