Abahn Sabana David
June 14, 2016
novel | pb | 108 pgs
5.5" x 8.5"
“Duras’s language and writing shine like crystals.”
Available for the first time in English, Abahn Sabana David is a late-career masterpiece from one of France’s top writers.
Late one evening, David and Sabana, communists, arrive at a country house where they meet Abahn, the man they’ve been sent to guard and ultimately kill for his perceived transgressions. A fourth man arrives (also named Abahn), and throughout the night these four characters discuss understanding, capitalism, violence, revolution, and dogs. A gun in the house disquiets the scene.
Suspenseful and thought-provoking, Duras’s novel is evocative of Samuel Beckett as it explores human existence and suffering in the confusing contemporary world. (Read an Excerpt)
Translated from the French by Kazim Ali
About the Author: Marguerite Duras was born in Giadinh, Vietnam (then Indochina) to French parents. During her lifetime she wrote dozens of plays, film scripts, and novels, including The Ravishing of Lol Stein, The Sea Wall, and Hiroshima, Mon Amour, and was associated with the nouveau roman (or new novel) French literary movement. Duras is probably most well known for The Lover, an autobiographical work that received the Goncourt prize in 1984 and was made into a film in 1992. She died in Paris in 1996 at the age of 81.
About the Translator: Kazim Ali is a poet, essayist, and novelist, and has published a translation of Water's Footfall by Sohrab Sepehri in addition to co-translating Duras's L'Amour. He teaches at Oberlin College and the University of Southern Maine.
“A spectacular success. . . . Duras is at the height of her powers.”
“Duras manages to combine the seemingly irreconcilable perspectives of confession and objectivity, of lyrical poetry and nouveau roman. The sentences lodge themselves slowly in the reader’s mind until they detonate with all the force of fused feeling and thought.”
—New York Times