Duras’ Vietnam

Matt Gross retraces the steps of Marguerite Duras in Saigon. (Thanks to Wah-Ming Chang for the link.)

The house pictured at right is the villa where Duras’ Chinese lover lived. The place now serves as the headquarters of the antidrug police.

Although it’s become fashionable to dismiss the nouveau roman as “a gimmick, a cul-de-sac currently occupied by Alain Robbe-Grillet and about 19 readers,” Duras’ The Lover, the standout of the genre, is a breathtaking and tragic book. Read it if you haven’t.


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