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Short biography
Born Marguerite Donnadieu in Gia Dinh, French Cochinchina, -- now Vietnam -- 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 colonies governing French Indochina. During World War II, she was a member of the French Resistance but was also accused of helping the Vichy government to censor writers. 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 (1950); many of her works were marked by feelings of alienation and the theme of love between people of different races. Marguerite Duras's semi-autobiographical novel L'Amant (1984), about her youth in Indochina, won the Prix Goncourt, France's most prestigious literary prize.
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