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Marguerite Duras (1914–1996)

Author of The Lover

211+ Works 15,948 Members 323 Reviews 71 Favorited

About the Author

Marguerite Duras was born in Gia-Dinh, Indochina on April 4, 1914. After attending school in Saigon, she moved to Paris, France to study law and political science. After graduation, she worked as a secretary in the French Ministry of the Colonies until 1941. During World War II, she joined the show more Resistance and published her first books. After the liberation, she became a member of the French Communist Party, and though she later resigned, she always described herself as a Marxist. Her first book, Les Impudents, was published in 1943. During her lifetime, she wrote more than 70 novels, plays, screenplays and adaptations. Her novels include The Sea Wall, The Lover, The Lover from Northern China, The War, and That's All. In 1959, she wrote her first film scenario, Hiroshima, Mon Amour, and has since been involved in a number of other films, including India Song, Baxter, Vera Baxter, Le Camion (The Truck), and The Lover. She died on March 4, 1996 at the age of 81. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Marguerite Duras - Modernista

Works by Marguerite Duras

The Lover (1984) 5,056 copies
Hiroshima Mon Amour (1960) 831 copies
The Ravishing of Lol Stein (1964) 796 copies
Moderato cantabile (1958) 783 copies
The War: A Memoir (1985) 782 copies
The North China Lover (1991) 719 copies
The Sea Wall (1950) 540 copies
Blue Eyes, Black Hair (1986) 459 copies
The Malady of Death (1982) 400 copies
The Vice Consul (1966) 337 copies
The Sailor from Gibraltar (1952) 306 copies
Writing (1993) 306 copies
Practicalities (1987) 274 copies
Destroy, She Said (1969) 264 copies
Emily L. (1987) 253 copies
Summer Rain (1990) 229 copies
Ten-Thirty on a Summer Night (1960) 228 copies
L'Amour (1986) 193 copies
L'Amante Anglaise (1967) 177 copies
India Song (1973) 160 copies
Yann Andréa Steiner (1992) 146 copies
The Square (1955) 129 copies
Wartime Writings: 1943-1949 (2006) 124 copies
Outside: Selected Writings (1984) 106 copies
La Vie tranquille (1944) 95 copies
Hiroshima Mon Amour [1959 film] (1959) — Screenwriter — 89 copies
No More (1995) 89 copies
Abahn Sabana David (1970) 67 copies
Nachtschip Night (1964) 60 copies
Les impudents (1943) 52 copies
The Lover [1992 film] (1992) — Writer — 51 copies
L'été 80 (1980) 50 copies
The Easy Life (2022) 45 copies
Green Eyes (1980) 42 copies
Me & Other Writing (2019) 42 copies
Agatha (1981) 42 copies
Two by Duras (1993) 40 copies
L'Eden cinéma (1977) 37 copies
Woman to Woman (1974) 32 copies
Marguerite Duras (1987) 30 copies
Savannah Bay (1982) 29 copies
De atlantische man (1982) 24 copies
The Impudent Ones (2021) 22 copies
Testi segreti (1987) 20 copies
La cuisine de Marguerite (1999) 19 copies
La Musica deuxième (1985) 13 copies
Duras/Godard Dialogues (2020) 10 copies
Ah! Ernesto! (1971) 10 copies
la mer écrite (1996) 9 copies
La musica (1965) 9 copies
Ganze Tage in den Bäumen (1989) 8 copies
Four Plays (1992) 6 copies
The Darkroom (Le camion) (2021) 6 copies
To erotiske fortellinger (2009) 6 copies
Olum Hastaligi (2005) 5 copies
Dialogues (1966) 5 copies
Une aussi longue absence (1961) 5 copies
The Garden Square (2018) 5 copies
India Song [1975 film] — Director / Screenwriter — 4 copies
Théâtre, tome 2 (1968) 4 copies
Theatre III (1984) 4 copies
Demning mot Stillehavet (1999) 3 copies
Yaz Yagmuru (2008) 3 copies
ACI (2007) 3 copies
Suzanna Andler (1987) 3 copies
Det er alt (2016) 3 copies
Aurelia Steiner. (1991) 2 copies
Aki Kuroda (1992) 2 copies
DHIMBJA 2 copies
Ο εραστής (1985) 2 copies
Tre romaner (2023) 2 copies
Stilla liv 2 copies
Yesil Gozler (2008) 2 copies
Ingiliz Sevgili (1998) 1 copy
Escriure (2022) 1 copy
Viết 1 copy
L' amamte 1 copy
Les archives de Marguerite Duras (2012) — Author — 1 copy
Lol Valérie Stein (1991) 1 copy
Pisati 1 copy
Hirosima Sevgilim (2022) 1 copy
Γράφοντας (1996) 1 copy
Samtal med Duras (2022) 1 copy
Les Enfants 1 copy
Agatha, Aurelia (2003) 1 copy
Askiya Alinmis Tutku (2014) 1 copy
A dor 1 copy
Agatha. Atlantik Mann (1987) 1 copy
Las Conversadoras (2005) 1 copy
Théâtre, tome 4 (1998) 1 copy
Nathalie Granger (2007) 1 copy
La ragazza del cinema (2014) 1 copy
O xardín (1955) 1 copy
Índia Song 1 copy
Pja-Hiina armuke (2008) 1 copy
Pisać (2001) 1 copy
Os inolentes 1 copy
Parkta 1 copy
La pluie d' 1 copy
Césarée 1 copy
Boas Falas (1988) 1 copy
Gespräche (1986) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Norton Book of Women's Lives (1993) — Contributor — 405 copies
Erotica: Women's Writing from Sappho to Margaret Atwood (1990) — Contributor — 168 copies
Writers' Houses (1994) — Foreword, some editions — 111 copies
Marguerite Duras (2005) — Contributor — 4 copies
The Sea Wall [2009 film] (2017) — Original book — 3 copies
Memoir of War [2018 film] — Original book — 3 copies
Erotica: racconti di amore e sesso al femminile (1992) — Author — 3 copies


1001 (62) 1001 books (70) 20th century (237) anthology (66) autobiography (71) biography (99) colonialism (82) drama (51) Duras (89) erotica (83) essays (46) fiction (1,317) film (59) France (374) French (688) French fiction (133) French literature (714) Indochina (136) literature (364) love (90) Marguerite Duras (93) memoir (140) narrativa (53) non-fiction (93) nouveau roman (64) novel (351) Novela (69) novella (40) read (125) Roman (254) romance (76) screenplay (47) sexuality (43) theatre (42) to-read (462) translation (71) unread (66) Vietnam (137) women (92) WWII (94)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Duras, Marguerite
Legal name
Donnadieu, Marguerite Germaine Marie
Date of death
Burial location
Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris, Île-de-France, France
Country (for map)
Gia Định, French Cochinchina
Place of death
6e arrondissement, Paris, Île-de-France, France
Places of residence
Gia Định, French Cochinchina (birth ∙ now Vietnam)
Paris, France
Sorbonne (1936|DES|1937)
film director
Antelme, Robert (husband)
Mascolo, Dionys (husband)
French Communist Party
Awards and honors
Prix Goncourt (1984)
Prix Ritz Paris Hemingway (1986)
Austrian State Prize for European Literature (1989)
Prix de Mai (1958)
Prix de la Tribune de Paris (1962)
Prix Jean-Cocteau (1976) (show all 7)
Grand prix du théâtre de l'Académie française (1983)
Short biography
Marguerite Duras was the pen name of Marguerite Donnadieu, born in Gia Dinh, French Indochina (now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) to Marie and Henri Donnadieu, teachers from France. In 1933, she went to France for her higher education. After completing studies at the Sorbonne in political science and law, she became a member of the French Communist Party (she would later be expelled). In the late 1930s, she worked for the French Ministry of the Colonies. During World War II, she worked for the Vichy government in an office that allocated paper quotas to publishers, a de facto book-censorship system, but also was a member of the French Resistance. In 1942, for the publication of her first novel, she chose Duras as her pen name for a village where her late father's house was located. Her career as an avant-garde writer took off in the 1950s with works such as Un barrage contre le Pacifique (The Sea Wall, 1950).

She was a prolific writer of plays, novels, short stories, essays, and screenplays, with many of her works marked by feelings of alienation. She returned often to the theme of love between people of different races. Her semi-autobiographical novel L'Amant (The Lover, 1984), about her youth in Indochina, won the Prix Goncourt, France's most prestigious literary prize.



1914: Marguerite Duras - Resources and General Discussion in Literary Centennials (September 2015)
Duras: The Sea Wall in Author Theme Reads (January 2014)
1914: Duras - India Song in Literary Centennials (January 2014)
1914: Duras - The Sailor from Gibraltar in Literary Centennials (January 2014)
1914: Duras - Hiroshima Mon Amour in Literary Centennials (January 2014)
1914: Duras - The Sea Wall in Literary Centennials (January 2014)
Duras: Plays and Films in Author Theme Reads (December 2013)
Marguerite Duras: General Thread in Author Theme Reads (August 2013)
Duras: The Lover in Author Theme Reads (August 2013)
Duras: The North China Lover in Author Theme Reads (July 2013)


L'été 80 by Marguerite Duras is a lovely, dreamlike book that is written in an associative, stream-of-conscious manner. In the introduction, Duras explains that an editor asked her to write an article or a series of articles for publication over the summer period. Duras says she doesn't have anything, and doesn't have any ideas, and more or less reluctantly accepts the commission.

The first half of the book consists of languid musings on the coast, observing children playing near the water. The summer of 1980 must have been lovely (I remember it as warm and sunny). In the second half of the book, Duras late style of crude association comes in, with insistent references to Gdansk. One would have to consult reference works to find out where this focus on Gdansk points, perhaps developments in Poland?… (more)
edwinbcn | 1 other review | Oct 25, 2023 |
so many thoughts im struggling to articulate.

duras tells the narrative with such a cold delivery. its near impossible to discern the actual intentions and emotions of herself and her self insert. its both an example of colonialist ideas and a scathing critique of it (especially with the added context of duras pro-colonialist writings). the novella both condemns and revels in the exploitation of the young girl at the center. gave me a feeling almost similar to lolita? but not quite. very uncomfortable to read, but i cant stop thinking about it. struggled trying to decide on a rating, but i think 4 stars is justified.… (more)
femmedyke | 150 other reviews | Sep 27, 2023 |
This marvelous author wrote this book based on a journal she kept during World War II, and it is powerful.

It is not comfortable reading. This book is gritty; her perceptions when she wrote the journal, like her perceptions when she put together this book, were stark, clear & nightmarish, her reactions raw, grim & terrible.

I have long liked Duras; she was a thinker as well as a writer. This is well worth the time for reading this short book.
RickGeissal | 12 other reviews | Aug 16, 2023 |
This novel is not for everyone. The style is part of a literary movement in France in the 1950s, which invests so much on interiority. The result is expanded freedom, without being highly descriptive. Chronology in story-telling is not necessary. In this novel, the emotions feel so precise in a few words it feels mysterious at the same time. I simply love it. This is what literature is about. It’s one of my all-time favorites.
oroquieta | 150 other reviews | Aug 7, 2023 |



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