Before anything else, at the beginning of the story told here, there was a screening of India Song at an art cinema in the city where you lived. After the film there was a panel discussion in which you participated. Then after the panel we went to a bar with some young graduate students, one of whom was you. It was you who reminded me later, much later, about that bar, a fairly elegant, attractive place, and about the two whiskeys I had that evening. I had no recollection of those whiskeys, nor of you, nor of the other young grad students, nor of the bar. I recalled, or so I thought, that you had walked me to the park- ing lot where I’d left my car. I still had that Renault 16, which I loved and still drove fast back then, even after the health prob- lems related to alcohol. You asked me if I had lovers. I said, Not anymore, which was true. You asked how fast I drove at night. I said ninety, like everyone else with an R16. That it was wonderful.
Excerpted from Yann Andrea Steiner by Marguerite Duras. Copyright © 2006 by Marguerite Duras. Excerpted by permission of Archipelago, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.