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Marguerite Duras – Lioness at Large

Marguerite Duras

(1914 – 1996)

Marguerite DurasBiographical Sketch

Marguerite Duras (Saigon, Vietnam, April 4, 1914 – Paris, France, March 3, 1996), born Marguerite Donnadieu, was a French writer and film director.

She was the author of many novels, plays, films, interviews, essays and short fiction, including her best-selling, apparently autobiographical work L’Amant (1984), translated into English as The Lover, which describes her youthful affair with a Chinese man. This text won the Goncourt prize in 1984. The story of her adolescence also appears in three other forms: The Sea WallEden Cinema and The North China Lover. A film version of The Lover, produced by Claude Berri and directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, was released to great success in 1992. A film version of The Sea Wall was first released in 1958, and remade in 2008 by Cambodian director Rithy Panh.

She was associated with the Nouveau roman French literary movement, although she did not belong definitively to any group. Many of her works, such as Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein (1964) and L’Homme assis dans le couloir (1980) deal with human sexuality.

Read more about Marguerite Duras on Wikipedia.


Major Awards and Honors

Prix Goncourt (France)
  • 1984: “L’Amant”
Austrian State Prize for European Literature (Austria)
  • 1989



Novels and Novellas:
  • Les Impudents (1942)
  • La Vie Tranquille (1944)
  • Un Barrage Contre le Pacifique (1950)
    (The Sea Wall)
  • La Marin de Gibraltar (1952)
    (The Sailor from Gibraltar)
  • Les Petits Chevaux de Tarquinia (1953)
    (Little Horses of Tarquinia)
  • Des Journées Entières dans les Arbres (1954)
    (Whole Days in the Trees)
  • Le Square (1955)
    (The Square)
  • Moderato Cantabile (1958)
  • Dix Heures et Demie du Soir en Été (1960)
    (10:30 on a Summer Night)
  • L’Après-Midi de Monsieur Andesmas (1962)
    (The Afternoon of Monsieur Andesmas)
  • Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein (1964)
    (The Ravishing of Lol Stein)
  • Le Vice-Consul (1966)
    (The Viceconsul)
  • L’Amante Anglaise (1968)
  • Détruire, Dit-Elle (1969)
    (Destroy, She Said)
  • Abahn, Sabana, David (1972)
  • L’Amant (1984)
    (The Lover)
  • L’Amour (1984)
  • Les Yeux Bleus, Cheveux Noirs (1986)
    (Blue Eyes, Black Hair)
  • Les Yeux Verts (1987)
    (Green Eyes)
  • La Maladie de la Mort (1988)
    (The Malady of Death)
  • Emily L. (1989)
  • L’Amant de la Chine du Nord (1990)
    (The North China Lover)
  • La Pluie d’Été (1990)
    (Summer Rain)
  • L’Homme Atlantique (1992)
Plays and Screenplays:
  • Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)
  • Les Viaducs de la Seine-et-Oise (1960)
    (The Viaducts)
  • Une Aussi Longue Absence (1961)
  • Sans Merveille (1964)
  • La Musica (1965)
  • Les Rideaux Blancs (1966)
  • Jaune le Soleil (1971)
  • Nathalie Granger (1972)
  • L’Échange (1973)
  • La Femme du Gange (1973)
  • India Song (1973)
  • Territoires du Féminin (1977)
  • L’Eden Cinéma (1977)
  • Agatha (1981)
  • Savannah Bay (1982)
  • Le Navire Night (1986)
Short Stories:
  • L’Homme Assis Dans le Couloir (1991)
    (The Man Sitting in the Corridor)
  • La Pute de la Côte Normande (1991)
  • Les Parleuses (1974)
  • Le Camion: Entretiens avec Michelle Porte (1977)
  • La Douleur (1985)
    (The War)
  • La Vie Materielle (1986)
  • Yann Andréa Steiner (1993)
  • C’est Tout (1996)
    (No More)
  • L’Été (1981)
  • Écrire (1983)
  • Outside (1984)


A Selection of Quotes


“The solitude of writing is a solitude without which writing could not be produced, or would crumble, drained bloodless by the search for something else to write.”

Outside: Selected Writings

“Paradoxically, the freedom of Paris is associated with a persistent belief that nothing ever changes. Paris, they say, is the city that changes least. After an absence of twenty or thirty years, one still recognizes it.”
(Tourists in Paris)

Find more quotes by Marguerite Duras on Wikiquote and Goodreads.