Marguerite Duras was born Marguerite Donnadieu on April 4, 1914 and she died March 3, 1996. She was a famous writer, activist, and movie producer. She was also a “war child” and in her adult years had extremely strong leaning toward the communist dream. In the 1950’s Druras had purchased an apartment in Paris. The apartment was located in the rue Saint-Benoit area. It was here that she met Michel Leiris. She also entertained others of similar interests and political beliefs. Elio Vittorini, Raymond Queneau and Maurice Blanchot just to name a few. These French intellectuals were known as the Saint-Benoit Group and met on a regular basis for food, drink, politics, and philosophical discussions. In Dessanti’s words, it was “a place of sharing and mutual respect.”
"Duras’s works written in her second phase are closely allied with those of the French New Novelists Alain Robbe-Grillet, Nathalie Sarraute, and Michel Butor."