Written in 1944 and first published in 1985, Duras’s riveting account of life in Paris during the Nazi occupation and the first months of liberation depicts the harrowing realities of World War II–era France “with a rich conviction enhanced by [a] spare, almost arid, technique” (Julian Barnes, The Washington Post Book World ). Duras, by then married and part of a French resistance network headed by François Mitterand, tells of nursing her starving husband back to health after his return from Bergen-Belsen, interrogating a suspected collaborator, and playing a game of cat and mouse with a Gestapo officer who was attracted to her. The result is “more than one woman’s diary . . . [it is] a haunting portrait of a time and a place and also a state of mind” (The New York Times).
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