Sales record: The Lover is one of the most famous novels of the twentieth century, with well over a million copies sold in English alone.
Publishing event: This will be a major publishing event. We are working to procure original correspondence about the book between Duras (pronounced Dur-rass) and her French publisher; New Press founder André Schiffrin was Duras's long-time American publisher, and we have publicity-worthy correspondence between them as well. 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of Duras's death, which will be commemorated with events around the world, beginning with "study days" this fall in France, which will focus on this novel and the Southwest region of France where much of it is set.
Platform: Marguerite Duras's fiction is extremely popular and currently experiencing a wave of trendiness and interest The Lover is something of an "it" book, photographed conspicuously in the hands of starlets and models with massive Instagram followings i.e. Kaia Gerber. Rachel Kushner wrote a long appreciation of Duras in the New Yorker two years ago, and fans regularly refer to The Lover as a "spiritual experience." There is a national Duras Society devoted to her work as well as Duras-centered book clubs around the world; panels and conferences regularly devote themselves to parsing her fiction.
Blurbs/endorsements: People with existing connections to the book (having already written on it or displayed some other public interest) include: Kaia Gerber (photographed with the book an endorsement from her might court Gen Z readers); Rachel Kushner; Lauren Oyler; Kate Zambreno.
Launch event: If possible, we will work with the French Cultural Council and Albertine bookstore to set up an elegant launch event in New York.
Reviews: Guaranteed coverage in leading venues, including the New York Times, New York Review of Books (Leigh Hafrey, the former NYTBR editor, translated Duras's The North China Lover), The Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, New Yorker (Adam Gopnick is a fan), etc.
Affiliations: Many book clubs at universities around the world focus or have focused on Duras; Stanford University's book club Another Look is an example. Other affiliations include: Prix Goncourt prize committee. The translator Kelsey L. Haskett is a professor at Trinity Western University in Canada -the French departments of most universities would be likely to have some investment in a new Marguerite Duras translation.