Similar in tone to a Beckett play, the characters of this novel spend the night discussing violence, communism, and revolution.
"Duras's language and writing shine like crystals."—The New Yorker
"A spectacular success. . . . Duras is at the height of her powers."—Edmund White
Available for the first time in English, Abahn Sabana David is a late-career masterpiece from one of France's greatest writers.
Late one evening, David and Sabana—members of a communist group—arrive at a country house where they meet Abahn, the man they've been sent to guard and eventually kill for his perceived transgressions. A fourth man arrives (also named Abahn), and throughout the night these four characters discuss existential ideas of understanding, capitalism, violence, revolution, and dogs, while a gun lurks in the background the entire time.
Suspenseful and thought-provoking, Duras's novel calls to mind the plays of Samuel Beckett in the way it explores human existence and suffering in the confusing contemporary world.
Marguerite Duras wrote dozens of plays, film scripts, and novels, including The Ravishing of Lol Stein, The Sea Wall, and Hiroshima, Mon Amour. She's most well-known for The Lover, which received the Goncourt Prize in 1984 and was made into a film in 1992. This is her third book to be published by Open Letter.
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.