Translated by Richard Seaver
A distressed young man murders the woman he loves in a café, watched by a large crowd. Fascinated by the crime she has witnessed, Anne Desbaresdes returns several times to the scene, forming a relationship with a man who also saw the murder, and drinking through the afternoon with him as he patiently answers her eager questions. Slowly, they find themselves being taken over by forces which threaten their own stability.
Moderato Cantabile is a carefully woven tapestry of emotion, in which the characters’ inner lives are reflected by the story’s spaces and landscapes.
Duras’s sentences lodge themselves slowly in the reader’s mind until they detonate with all the force of fused feeling and thought.
The New York Times Book Review
Prix Goncourt winner Marguerite Duras (1914–96) is one of the most influential figures in French postwar literature, with The Sea Wall, The Lover and Moderato Cantabile among her most famous novels.