Marguerite Duras may well be the most important French writer of our day. Born in Indochina, she went to Paris at the age of 17 and studied at the Sorbonne. During World War II, she joined the Resistance and published her first books. After the liberation, like many intellectuals, she became a member of the Communist party (from which she was expelled in 1955). Her fame in literature dates from The Sea Wall (1953) about white settlers in Vietnam and based loosely on her childhood. Seeking meaning and fulfillment, the characters in her novels are sacrificed to the ever-flowing tide of existence, and life is perhaps over before they are fully aware of what has been happening. Associated early on with the "new novelists," Duras's work has taken on a density and power that sets her apart by its obsessive exploration of the dual theme of love and death. In 1959 she wrote her first film scenario, Hiroshima, Mon Amour, and has since been involved in a number of other films, including India Song, Baxter, Vera Baxter, Le Camion (The Truck), and The Lover.