Marguerite Duras, author of The Lover and Hiroshima, Mon Amour, waited until 1985 to publish her lightly fictionalised testimony of her war years.
Telling a complex, morally implicating tale of France’s occupation, Duras watches as her husband Robert Antelme, Resistance member, is deported by the Gestapo. Stricken, she turns to Vichy collaborator Rabier to help her regain Robert.
The end of war is not the end of Duras’s struggle, as France’s liberation means only doubt and suspended grief as Robert fails to return.
A poetic and bruising telling that blunts none of Duras's trademark of searching moral enquiry, Memoir of War has rare emotional weight.