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May selection: Marguerite Duras’ Destroy, She Said

Again for the early-bird planners and slow readers, here’s an advance call on Wrapped Up In Books. In May, starting on Monday the 24th, we'll be discussing Marguerite Duras' enigmatic novel Destroy, She Said, which touches on themes of sex, violence, and madness with a barebones, almost distracted touch. This is the first pick from new WUIB books participant Emily Withrow, who has this to say about why she picked it: “Duras casts light, short sentences in cinematic vignettes that sketch only the most necessary details of a scene, leaving plenty of work for the reader to put things together as tension builds. Destroy was first published in 1969, after Duras had really hit her stride, having written the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima Mon Amour and stepped away from the conventional romanticism of her earlier work. Here, we catch her far on the other side; Destroy is stylistically more stripped-down and opaque than her best-known novel, the Gouncourt-winner L’Amant, which Jean-Jacques Annaud adapted as the controversial 1992 British film The Lover. Destroy is a wild ride but a short one, experimental and gripping, clocking in around 130 pages depending on the edition. Hope you enjoy it.”

We’re bowled over at all the reader suggestions for our next pick, and will be discussing them in weeks to come. Thanks for your participation; we’re intimidated by all the many options, but excited about them as well. We’ll do what we can to winnow them down to a manageable level, at which point we’ll come back to you with a poll for a final selection. Stay tuned.