Marguerite Duras by Laure Adler
A Life

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When Marguerite Duras was published in France in 1998, it reached the top of the bestseller lists immediately, and Duras, who had led an unapologetically controversial life, was propelled once again into the headlines. The author of The Lover, Hiroshima Mon Amour, and The War: A Memoir, Duras has long been a symbol of France's complex role in World War II and the country's troubled colonial relations in Asia, as well as a fascinating embodiment of the tensions between autobiography and fiction. Now available in English, Marguerite Duras confronts the truths and falsehoods in the life of the enigmatic author.

Adler, through her exploration of the events central to Duras's career, including her affair with and eventual denunciation of a Nazi collaborator and her childhood in Indochina, reveals Duras as the consummate pragmatist. She has combed through archives, unearthed letters, studied unpublished manuscripts, and interviewed scores of Duras's friends, lovers, enemies, and colleagues—as well as Duras herself—and she emerges with the richest portrait we have of Duras's life: her upbringing, her student days at the Sorbonne, her career as a novelist and filmmaker, and her involvement in French politics through the most complex decades of the twentieth century. "The masks and the truth" was the headline of a French review of Marguerite Duras, and Adler explores both, probing the line between fiction and selfhood and between political activities and personal responsibility.

About Laure Adler

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Laure Adler is a historian and journalist who served as a cultural adviser to the Office of the French Presidency from 1989 to 1992. She is the author of numerous books, including "L'amour a l'arsenic: histoirede Marie Lafarge," "Les femmes politiques," and "L'annee des adieux," Anne-Marie Glasheen's translations include two collections of plays by contemporary playwrights and seveal novel, most notably "Oedipus on the Road" by Henry Bauchau. She is a past Chair of the Translators Association, and in 1998 she was awarded the literary translation prize by the Communaute francaise de Belgique.
Published September 28, 2000 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 576 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Duras (The Lover, Hiroshima Mon Amour, etc.) was not only a fabulously prolific novelist, but also a journalist, filmmaker, playwright, director, Resistance activist, communist, alcoholic, lover, and—perhaps above all else—voyeur.

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Publishers Weekly

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Duras (1914-1995) is a figure of continuing interest to Francophiles, readers interested in women's writing and devotees of modern films like Hiroshima mon amour.

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London Review of Books

For twenty years or so – but particularly after she hit the jackpot with her Goncourt Prize and sold a million copies of her most conventional novel, The Lover (1984) – Marguerite Duras was a literary monster.

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Project MUSE

After Alain Vircondelet's Duras, biographie and Christiane Blot-Labarrère's Marguerite Duras, writing a biography of Duras seems to have been an exercise avoided by Durassian scholars.

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