Mary Dixie Carter reviews Marguerite Duras' Wartime Writings (entitled Wartime Notebooks this side of the Pond) in the San Francisco Chronicle. Her review begins:
As an adolescent in French colonial Indochina, Marguerite Duras typically wore a brownish-pink man's fedora, black patent leather pumps and an oversize blue dress with a bright pink bird on the fabric. As she wrote years later in her diary, she dressed in a manner "so absurd it almost defied description." That was how she looked the day she met Léo, the fabulously wealthy Vietnamese man who would be memorialized in her 1984 novel, The Lover. Best known for that novel, which was awarded France's Prix Goncourt, and for her screenplay, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Duras is regarded as one of the most important literary figures of 20th century France.
In Wartime Writings: 1943-1949, a collection of newly discovered diaries and rough drafts (elegantly translated by Linda Coverdale), those familiar with Duras' work will recognize the source material for much of her writing to which she would return throughout her life.