The Malady of Death
Publisher: Grove Press
“[An] erotic, existential mystery . . . part philosophical meditation, part fantasy” from the Prix Goncourt-winning author of The Lover (The Guardian).
A man hires a woman to spend several weeks with him by the sea. The woman is no one in particular, a “she,” a warm, moist body with a beating heart—the enigma of Other. Skilled in the mechanics of sex, he desires through her to penetrate a different mystery: he wants to learn to love. It isn’t a matter of will, she tells him. Still, he wants to try . . .
This beautifully wrought erotic novel is an extended haiku on the meaning of love, “perhaps a sudden lapse in the logic of the universe,” and its absence, “the malady of death.”
“The whole tragedy of the inability to love is in this work, thanks to Duras’ unparalleled art of reinventing the most familiar words, of weighing their meaning.”—Le Monde
“Deceptively simple and Racinian in its purity, condensed to the essential.”—Translation Review
Praise for Marguerite Duras’s international bestseller, The Lover
“Powerful, authentic, completely successful . . . perfect.”—The New York Times Book Review
“An exquisite jewel of a novel, as multifaceted as a diamond, as seamless and polished as a pearl.”—Boston Herald
“A vivid, lingering novel . . . a brilliant work of art.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer