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The North China Lover (The Lover, #2)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  1,569 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
Far more daring and truthful than any of her other novels, The North China Lover is a fascinating retelling of the dramatic experiences of Duras’s adolescence that shaped her most famous work. Initially conceived as notes toward a screenplay for The Lover, this later novel, written toward the end of her life, emphasizes the tougher aspects of her youth in Indochina and pos ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by The New Press (first published 1991)
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Sofía (Софья)
Esta novela es un cuadro escrito. Con cortas y precisas pinceladas Marguerite Duras dibuja para nosotros una historia. Una historia de amor, de deseo, de pasión. Una historia franca y hermosa.
Ella. Él.
Una francesa. Un chino.
Una adolescente. Un hombre adulto.
Ella es de una familia adeudada. Él es uno de los hombres más ricos en China.
La personalidad de ella es increíble. Es franca, directa, curiosa, de carácter fuerte.
Él sorprende con su sensibilidad y generosidad.
La noche.
Un calor insoportable.
Sep 19, 2015 Will rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: français
Marguerite Duras must have led an extraordinary, emotionally complex, devastating childhood if any of the scenes of this work are real. Because my French is a work in progress, I read L'Amant de la Chine du Nord (The North China Lover) in short bursts over the summer when I was in the mood, but in the last few days I decided to devote a few hours to it every day, and I don't regret it at all.

Reading in other languages really is such a different experience, and that first moment when you go a who
Sep 13, 2015 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Non riesco a pensare a questo libro se non come al seguito di quello che da anni ormai conosco, e che ho amato tanto, sebbene in realtà sia lo stesso. La stessa storia, che pure era stata raccontata così bene, qui viene arricchita, non sempre migliorata, e resa ancora più crudele. E ho idea che, se Marguerite Duras fosse vissuta abbastanza da scriverla altre cento volte, per cento volte ancora mi avrebbe fatto male.
Melodie Ramone
Sep 17, 2014 Melodie Ramone rated it it was amazing
It's been several years since I read this book. I still give it five stars for the reason that it stayed with me. I remember the swirl of emotions it brought up as I turned the pages. The sympathy I had for the young girl, the disgust mingled with strange understanding of her mother. And the empathy and repulsion I felt toward the Lover. Marguerite Duras certainly had a talent for being blunt, for making you accept the controversy of her situation simply as a historical fact. She kept you so wra ...more
Inspired by Richard's commitment to multi-lingual reading and blogging, I've decided to try to work on my languages as well, and read more novels in the original French. How many is "more"? Well, last year I read a grand total of one. So, in order to top that, this year I'll need to read...two. Maybe the year after that I'll read three. As you can tell, I'm practically signing up for À la recherche du temps perdu already.

Considering that last year's pick, J.M.G. Le Clézio's Ourania , was somet
Mar 07, 2016 diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Todas las mujeres (biológicas o no) del mundo, cinéfilas desquiciadas amantes de Tony Leung
—¿No trabajas?
—No. Nada.
—Nunca haces nada, nunca... nunca haces algo...
Ella le sonríe. Dice:
—Dices «nunca» como si dijeras «siempre».

La historia de la niña y el chino. El quilombo más grande del mundo. No voy a escribir sobre el grueso de este libro, eso sería escribir demasiado sobre mi vida. Sólo algunas observaciones un poco offtopic: ¿por qué la madre es imbécil y ciega? La madre en Orgullo y prejuicio también es así. Marguerite Duras, Jane Austen. Minas inteligentes y escritoras
Maggie Duras was a hot little firecracker, giving up her 14-year-old stuff to the family, the natives, and so on.

But seriously, folks....

This is an expanded recast of a tale Duras had already told in the earlier, shorter and much better autobiographical novel, The Lover , and although this one starts off just as beautifully and has lovely bits throughout, it gradually becomes stultifyingly repetitive and dull and fizzles out.

The earlier version, much more internalized, focused, concentrated an
Alshia Moyez
You know, I don't even want to give this book 3 stars, but I'm being generous and sticking to my rule (even thought I had to break it with this author not too long ago) of never giving below a 3-star rating, except in extreme cases.

Maybe there's something wrong with me or perhaps my tastes have changed, but I used to be SUCH a hardcore fan of hers-truly, a fangirl. Especially of The Lover and this book (even though it's just The Lover with bigger font & more white space).

Today, though, it's
May 23, 2013 Grace rated it it was amazing
I wasn’t expecting much. I heard that it was basically a retelling of the Lover and wasn’t nearly as good. Given all of the negative reviews, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. It has quickly become a favorite. I read the Lover about a year ago and saw the film adaptation shortly after. I didn’t think that she could add much to the already rich story, but she really did.

The North China Lover is a simple story. It is semi-autobiographical and tells of an affair Duras had as a child wi
Bistra Ivanova
Sep 12, 2010 Bistra Ivanova rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, fiction
Написана след "несъгласието" (твърдят издателите от Колибри) на Дюрас с филмовата версия на The Lover на Жан-Жак Ано (разбирам я; и аз не успях да го догледам), на тази книга определено повече й подхожда заглавието "Любовникът - пренаписан". Точно това е направила Дюрас в края на кариерата си и то по доста плосък начин. Ако първият Любовник оцених така високо заради оголването на историята до скелет и премахването на всяка излишна сцена, изречение, думичка, запетайка, тук тежестта на видимите де ...more
Oct 16, 2012 Radhika rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books, by my favorite writer. I first read Duras when I was 15 and i think, that has made all the difference. Her writing touched me where no other writer has been able to reach till date. The story, the plot, the characters - are all irrelevant in her book. You can't pickle it under fiction or non fiction. No flowery language, no melodrama. Reading her is just an experience, very intense, often tumultuous. This book is about her love affair with the rich North Chinese guy - y ...more
If you haven't read the first book and seen the movie it's probably rubbish with pretty words. But I've read the original, I've seen the movie, I've read some about Duras' life so this remixing of the most important part of her life in reaction to the movie (which she did not approve of) in a time where she was battling alcohol addiction, was in and out of hospital is brutally raw. I like it. I like it even more than the original and it makes me want to read about the novel she wrote about her m ...more
Apr 08, 2016 metaphor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marguerite-duras
From the first meeting two strangers know that they are doomed to love and separate. They know it as deeply as only it is possible to know anything. One of them is inhabited by terrible mourning, the other is overwhelmed by unspeakable sadness. They feel as if nothing will ever happen in their life except this love.

"They were about to separate. She remembers how difficult, how cruel it was to speak. They couldn't find words, their desire was so strong. They hadn't looked at each other again. The
Jul 11, 2015 Kkaatteenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inte lika bra och suggestiv som Älskaren, men ojojoj vilket geni hon är. Duras duras duras duras ...more
وليد الشايجي
جميلة كما هو متوقع... تكنيك فرنسي محض، ولكنه عميق جدا. حب، ألم، شغف، استعمار، لا اظنه ببعيد عن السيرة الذاتية للكاتبة.
Sep 04, 2014 Sebastian rated it really liked it
Duras was hired by the director Jean-Jacques Annaud to write the screenplay for a film to be made from her The Lover but due to a disagreement with Annaud, quit the production. She then began another retelling of the early years of her life, the referenced novel. She began the novel as a screeplay but along the way in morphs into a novel.
Certainly one of the major differences between the two works comes at the end of The North China Lover, a description in explicit language of an incestuous epi
Feb 18, 2009 Cheri rated it really liked it
I was entranced with The Lover when I read it in college, and curious as to how this novel-as-screenplay would feel to me almost a decade later.

Duras is a sensuous, spare and intimate writer whose prose hints at meaning that only she knows fully. I found myself reading and re-reading The North China Lover to discover the truth - did she have an affair with her brother? Was she in love with her North China lover? or was she prostituted?

Details that had been forgotten were revealed, and the mela
Apr 13, 2008 Beth rated it it was ok
This book was the biggest disappointment of my life. I still can't believe how much I disliked it. The Lover is one of my favorite novels ever, and I was excited to read a more in-depth re-telling of the story; but, all I got was -- I don't even know what. I adore Duras and her prose, and am generally tolerant of self-indulgence in artists, but something about this book made me feel like I was being rambled to by a pathetic middle-aged lady who was trying to convince me of how transcendent her ...more
Sep 13, 2010 Hemilya rated it it was amazing
Shelves: women, favourite
Certainly more revealing than 'The Lover', this book made me tremble with sadness over the story of the two lovers. Their love, desire and ultimate despair were pictured so... real.
I loved especially when he talked to her in Chinese, and the moment she understood how lonely he was, as if surrounded by his country. His fragile body, his beautiful hands, the way he was unsure of himself - I almost fell in love with him myself.
The Child too, her ability to love, and the way she was able to live fur
Jul 20, 2012 Fernanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fue un golpe de suerte encontrar este libro en perfectas condiciones a un precio de regalo. Es mi segundo libro de Duras y en lo personal creo que tiene una hermosa manera de escribir. Es simple pero tan humana que te llega directo al corazón.
No he leído el libro del amante, pero creo que esta versión es fabulosa. La historia fue curioso y los personajes extrañamente humanos. He quedado prendada de este libro. Una historia real de primera mano llena de detalles y conversaciones simples y algo ba
Jan 16, 2016 Daria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel that came in my very fat Gallimard collection of Duras' works is L'Amant de la Chine du Nord, which, as it turns out, is not L'Amant. And here I was thinking people and translators just shortened the title for convenience. Oups.

I was puzzled in digging around Goodreads reviews of The Lover and finding that that novel is narrated in the first person - not in third-person pronouns, as is this later, longer book. Aha. So they say that The North China Lover is the screenplay-ish, deeper-is
Pedro Fragoso
Apr 28, 2016 Pedro Fragoso rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Après avoir finie ce livre je m'ai mis à penser qu'il y a quelques mois auparavant j'ai essayé de lire les 2 œuvres majeures de Jonathan Frazen, mais au fin, il y était impossible, j'ai trouvé les personnages et l'ambiance complètement insupportables et c'était claire que je ne irais pas dépenser des jours de ma vie dans ces univers misérables (je pense faire un jour une dernière tentative Franzen, avec Purity). J'ai aussi fait un effort pour lire Et rien d'autre de James Salter, mais au fin de ...more
May 02, 2011 Caley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Long, overdone, and repetitive. The prose was so sparse that the book ended up feeling disjointed and slightly pretentious. I liked that I was given more insight into her relationship than "The Lover" provided, but that's the only positive aspect of this novel. By the end, I was so sick of reading "We cried. We laughed. He laughed. I cried" that I too almost cried. Out of frustration. Wouldn't recommend this book.
Victoria Murata
Aug 18, 2016 Victoria Murata rated it liked it
This is a good autobiographical story--reads like a screenplay for the movie which I saw years ago. Duras had an interesting life growing up in French-occupied Indochina in the 1930's. Her family was complicated--oldest brother, cruel, addicted to opium, the younger brother, sensitive, the victim. And she, promiscuous at fourteen. This is the story of her adolescence living in a boarding school, and because her mother was a school official, everyone looked the other way when the daughter began h ...more
Juan José
Oct 28, 2014 Juan José rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un livre bizarre mais hypnotique. Avec une style cinématographique et terse comme la soie. Des dialogues impeccables. Une histoire triste avec beaucoup de larmes. L'Indochine comme fantasme et Phantom de la mémoire.
Laura Jennings
Sep 20, 2008 Laura Jennings rated it really liked it
Chosen for the narrative voice, the sense of place and the balance of narrative versus incident. Where Duras takes her largely autobiographical memoir and makes it a more traditional piece of fiction.
Mar 18, 2010 Histteach24 rated it it was amazing
Read The Lover first-this is an extended version of it. Poetic, beautifully written and haunting. What is love versus obsession? Was this love wrong? She is a captivating author!
Oct 15, 2010 Michael rated it it was amazing
Was far more thoughtful then the LOVER and gave the detail that the first book and movie missed. Especially about the father of the Chinese man.
Ingrid Hernández
May 10, 2016 Ingrid Hernández rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5
Me encantó, en verdad. Lo amé de principio a fin. Ese lazo entre "la niña" y "el chino", ese amor imposible, crudo... y a la vez tan puro. Estamos ante una auténtica historia de amor, ante un amor tan intenso y absorbente, que por muchos momentos, casi podría calificarse como una obsesión, como un amor unilateral.

No sé ustedes, pero para mí, el hecho de que nuestros protagonistas fueran tan centrados y realistas, al saber que su relación no tenía futuro a largo plazo, me resultó a la vez, encant
Nathalie Legro
Mar 05, 2015 Nathalie Legro rated it really liked it
No le quiero dar un cuatro a este libro pero tampoco un tres. Dejémoslo en un 3.5. Para muchos es problemática la manera en la que está escrito, es cierto, a veces puede ser un poco confuso, pero la verdad a mí me ha gustado (a veces) como la autora se mete en la historia sin ser la narradora.
No me gustó, las referencias que se hacen al primer libro. Las observaciones sobre cómo sería la película, tiende a ser tedioso en ocasiones. Y definitivamente no me gustó la extraña relación erótica que ti
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Marguerite Donnadieu, better known as Marguerite Duras (pronounced [maʀgəʁit dyˈʁas] in French) (April 4, 1914 – March 3, 1996) was a French writer and film director.

She was born at Gia-Dinh, near Saigon, French Indochina (now Vietnam), after her parents responded to a campaign by the French government encouraging people to work in the colony.

Marguerite's father fell ill soon after their arrival,
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“Don’t be afraid anymore. Not of anyone. Not of anything. Nothing. Ever again. Listen to me: not ever again.” 6 likes
“La historia está ahí, inevitable ya. La de un amor cegador. Siempre por venir, jamás olvidado.” 6 likes
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