Published for the first time in english, the World War II notebooks of one of the twentieth century's most renowned literary figures. For decades it has been known that Marguerite Duras had kept four notebooks in a blue closet in her country home in France. But until now no one understood the importance of the material that she had written in the period between 1943 and 1949. Here are the first drafts of her most famous works, the true stories behind The Lover, The War, and several other classics. This book is truly the seventh veil to be lifted by Duras in her multivolume autobiography. Each volume has come closer to the raw truth; here at last are the secrets that have remained hidden for all this time. In these remarkable writings we discover the difficult, poignant circumstances of Duras's upbringing in colonial Vietnam, where her desperate mother was eager to sell her to the man who became known as the lover. Here too is her repulsion at her first kiss and her unhappiness at this forced liaison. Once she emigrates to France, we follow her life through the war into the Liberation and the horrific events that she observed in the presence of the resistance members, who interrogated and tortured former collaborators. She also tells of the horrendous effect of finding her husband, returning nearly dead from the Nazi concentration camps. Throughout, Duras paints an unflinching picture of this troubled period. Everyone who has been interested in Duras's life and work will find this an utterly absorbing volume. These first writings are the closest we will get to the truth of Duras's inner life and thoughts at a critical point in her career.
Marguerite Duras was one of Europe's most distinguished writers. The author of many novels and screenplays, she is perhaps best known outside France for her filmscript Hiroshima Mon Amour and her Prix Goncourt-winning novel THE LOVER, also filmed. Her other books include LA DOLEUR, BLUE EYES BLACK HAIR, SUMMER RAIN and THE NORTH CHINA LOVER. Born in Indochina in 1914, Marguerite Duras died in 1996.
Linda Coverdale has translated more than sixty books. A Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, she won the 2004 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the 2006 Scott Moncrieff Prize, and the 1997 and 2008 French-American Foundation Translation Prize. She was a finalist for the 2008 French-American Foundation Translation Prize for Life Laid Bare.