Wartime Writings

1943–1949

From one of France’s most celebrated literary figures, the captivating World War II notebooks with the remarkable stories behind her international bestsellers

“Preposterous, self-obsessed, eloquent, unstoppable, Duras left her mark on French letters, theater, and cinema.” —Edmund White, The New York Review of Books

A “fierce and lyrical writer of conscience” (Booklist), Marguerite Duras kept hidden in a closet in her country home in France four small notebooks filled with writings from the war years. Published here in their entirety for the first time, these remarkable wartime writings include slices of autobiography and feature the first versions of Duras’ most famous works, the true stories behind the international bestsellers The Lover, The War, and several other classics.

Critics have hailed Wartime Writings as “among the most arresting [pages] she ever wrote” (The New York Review of Books). In them, Duras chronicles the poignant circumstances of her childhood in colonial Vietnam, her experiences with the French Resistance during the war, and the conflicted and exhilarating time of the Liberation and the early postwar years. Throughout, Duras paints an unflinching portrait of this troubled and formative period for France.

Allowing readers to fully and intimately explore the life of one of the most celebrated artists of the twentieth century, Wartime Writings gives new meaning to Duras’ previous work and adds to her intricate life story.

Praise

“Duras’ fans will recognize and thrill to her unique voice as it develops—feverish, sometimes feral, yet pitilessly unsentimental.”
Publishers Weekly
“A marvel and a treasure.”
Le Monde
“Unfettered access to one of the great literary minds of our time.”
San Francisco Chronicle

Books by Marguerite Duras

The North China Lover
A Novel

Marguerite Duras

The War
A Memoir

Marguerite Duras