Salon littéraire: Un barrage contre le Pacifique de Marguerite Duras

SATURDAY, November  11
2PM - 3PM

Join us at the AFSeattle Library for our traditional Salon littéraire. This time, we will explore a novel by Marguerite Duras, Un barrage contre le Pacifique.

As a reminder, the discussion is recommended for French speakers at level A2+ (upper intermediate) or above. However, participants are welcome to read the book in English if they prefer.

Free for AF members / $5 for non-member. Please RSVP below!

The Book

Un Barrage contre le Pacifique (1950; The Sea Wall), is Marguerite Duras's third novel and first success. This semi-autobiographical novel follows the story of a widowed school teacher who has spent her life savings on a piece of worthless land in Indochina. Ruined after acquiring this uncultivable land and crippled by debts, the desperate mother erects dams against the ocean, which drowns her crops and drives her into madness. Through this story Marguerite Duras denounces the injustice of the colonial system. 

The Author

Marguerite Duras was a French novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and filmmaker born in 1914 near Saigon, Indochina (later becoming Vietnam). Marguerite Duras moved to France at 17 to study law and politics at the Sorbonne University. She favoured leftist causes and for 10 years was a member of the Communist Party.  

Her script for the film Hiroshima mon amour (1959) earned her a nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards. Her novel The Lover, published in 1984 when she was 70, won France's most prestigious literary award, the Prix Goncourt.

She died in Paris in 1996.


Where to find a copy?

French Version: 

English Version:

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