The War: A Memoir

Marguerite Duras (Author) Barbara Bray (Translator)


"An astonishing meditation on the horrors of the war and on the obsessive power of personal fidelity in love."
--Francine Du Plessix Gray, The New York Times Book Review

Written in 1944 and first published in 1985, Duras's riveting account of life in Paris during the Nazi occupation and the first months of liberation depicts the harrowing realities of World War II-era France "with a rich conviction enhanced by [a] spare, almost arid, technique" (Julian Barnes, The Washington Post Book World ). Duras, by then married and part of a French resistance network headed by François Mitterand, tells of nursing her starving husband back to health after his return from Bergen-Belsen, interrogating a suspected collaborator, and playing a game of cat and mouse with a Gestapo officer who was attracted to her. The result is "more than one woman's diary . . . [it is] a haunting portrait of a time and a place and also a state of mind" (The New York Times).

Product Details

$15.99  $14.71
New Press
Publish Date
August 01, 1994
5.5 X 0.6 X 8.2 inches | 0.55 pounds
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About the Author

Marguerite Duras (1914-1996) was one of France's most important literary figures. She is the author of such acclaimed novels as The Lover, The Ravishing of Lol Stein, and The Sailor from Gibraltar and wrote the screenplay for Hiroshima Mon Amour. The New Press has published translations of her books The North China Lover, The War, and Wartime Writings.


"An astonishing meditation on the horrors of the war and on the obsessive power of personal fidelity in love."
--New York Times Book Review

"No recent memoir has evoked the 1940s in France so eloquently or paid such close attention to suffering and emotional numbness. The diarist spares no one, neither the victims, the victors, the reader, nor herself."

"Marguerite Duras's writing reminds one of the late Red Smith's simple advice on how to write: just sit at your typewriter, open a vein, and let it out, drop by drop. . . . Duras writes in an unmannered prose, so spare its very stylelessness is itself a style, using cinematic, fragmented technique."
--Virginia Quarterly Review

"This book is at once elegant and brutal in its honesty: in Duras's world we are all outcasts, and the word 'liberation' is never free of irony. A powerful, moving work."
--Kirkus Reviews