Praise for The Impudent Ones:
"With affairs, suicide, rivalry, gossip, desolation, betrayal, and dysfunction, rendered with touches of Flaubert, the Brontës, and Woolf, and illuminated via invaluable essays by translator Haskett and Duras' biographer, Jean Vallier, this flawed yet intriguing novel is revealed to be the proving ground on which Duras taught herself how to cast her provocative spell."
"In this well-cadenced translation by Kelsey L. Haskett, we are given a remarkable first novel that documents 'the days' unchanging flow, ' their constraints, conflicts, 'chasms of light, ' their ferocity and consolations."
"Two enlightening afterwords enhance this volume–the first by translator Haskett and the second by Duras's biographer Jean Vallier. . . . The English language version of The Impudent Ones is significant. . . . The book offers a roadmap for what was to come."
–Martha Anne Toll, NPR Books
"Marguerite Duras's lyrical first novel explores the same thematic material one finds in the author's mature work – a family on the brink of ruin, a mother's unmeasured love for her destructive eldest son, a young woman's coming of age, depleted agricultural land, and illicit desire – allowing readers to encounter one of the foremost French novelists of the twentieth century in a new light. While the story unfolds in provincial France, not in the colonies, and Duras's prose does not quite have the bare violence of her later novels, her control of narrative and the brutal honesty with which she approaches feminine subjectivity and interrogates social class are already fully realized in ways that anticipate the work of Elena Ferrante; Haskett's translation is excellent."
–Kathryn Lachman, associate professor of Comparative Literature at UMass Amherst and author of Borrowed Forms
"Finally we have a masterful English translation of Duras's first novel. In it one finds the landscapes and characters, moods and affects, that will appear later in her work: the suffocating toxicity of the nuclear family, the misery and boredom of the petite bourgeoisie, the brutality and honesty of young, sensual love, all held together by the dream-like wandering of a central female character refusing to be trapped by any of it. Echoes of Flaubert and Mauriac, but also of Sand and Emily Brontë... and yet Duras was only 26 when the novel was published! Absolutely spellbinding..."
–Alice Jardine, professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University and author of At the Risk of Thinking
"Fans of Marguerite Duras will be happy to discover her first novel, published for the first time in English by The New Press. The Impudent Ones is the work of a young writer still looking for her voice and style, but it explores a family dynamic that would recur in Duras's best-known works. The drama of a mother whose love of her good-for-nothing son overshadows all other affections, and a daughter caught between her love for her mother and her loathing of her rascally older brother, creates a toxic atmosphere that Duras's readers will recognize from works like The Lover and The Seawall. Bravo to The New Press for making The Impudent Onesavailable to the English-speaking public!"
–Susan Rubin Suleiman, professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University and author of The Némirovsky Question