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Minor Canon

Marguerite Duras "The Lover" hat ecru/black

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Marguerite Germaine Marie Donnadieu, known as Marguerite Duras, was a French novelist, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, and experimental filmmaker.

Born in French Indochina (now Vietnam) to teachers from France—though her father died young in 1921—Duras spent the bulk of her childhood and adolescence in the colony, moving to France at age 17 to pursue her baccalaureate, eventually attaining degrees in public law and political economy. 

During World War II, from 1942 to 1944, Duras worked for the Vichy government in an office that allocated paper quotas to publishers and in the process operated a de facto book-censorship system. At the same time, she became an active member of the PCF (the French Communist Party) and a member of the French Resistance as a part of a small group that also included François Mitterrand, who later became President of France and remained a lifelong friend of hers. Duras' husband, Robert Antelme, was deported to Buchenwald in 1944 for his involvement in the Resistance, and barely survived the experience (weighing on his release, according to Duras, just 38 kg, or 84 pounds). She nursed him back to health, but they divorced once he recovered.

In 1943, when publishing her first novel, she began to use the surname Duras, after the town that her father came from, Duras, Lot-et-Garonne.

Duras was the author of many novels, plays, films, interviews, essays, and works of short fiction, including her best-selling, highly fictionalized autobiographical work L'Amant (1984), translated into English as The Lover, which describes her youthful affair with a Chinese-Vietnamese man. In spare yet luminous prose, Duras evokes life on the margins of Saigon in the waning days of France's colonial empire, and its representation in the passionate relationship between two unforgettable outcasts. It won the Prix Goncourt in 1984.

The story of her adolescence also appears in three other books: The Sea Wall, Eden Cinema and The North China Lover. A film version of The Lover, produced by Claude Berri and directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, was released in 1992.

Other major works include Moderato Cantabile (1958), which was the basis of the 1960 film Seven Days... Seven Nights; Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein (1964); and her play India Song, which Duras herself later directed as a film in 1975. She was also the screenwriter of the 1959 French film Hiroshima mon amour, which was directed by Alain Resnais. Duras's early novels were fairly conventional in form, and were criticized for their "romanticism" by fellow writer Raymond Queneau; however, with Moderato Cantabile, she became more experimental, paring down her texts to give ever-increasing importance to what was not said. She was associated with the nouveau roman French literary movement, although she did not belong definitively to any one group. She was noted for her command of dialogue.

She died in 1996.

This hat's design is inspired by the cover art for the 1998 Pantheon English edition of The Lover.


• 100% organic cotton
• Fabric weight: 8 oz/yd² (271 g/m²)
• 3/1 twill
• Unstructured
• 6 panel
• Matching sewn eyelets
• Self-fabric adjustable closure with a brass slider and hidden tuck-in
• Blank product sourced from China