Nathalie Sarraute (1900-1999) is regarded as one of the major French novelists of the twentieth century. Initially hailed as a leading theorist and exemplar of the nouveau roman, she has come to be regarded as an important author in her own right with her own distinctive concerns. In this major new study of Sarraute, the first in English since her death, Ann Jefferson offers a fresh perspective on Sarraute's entire oeuvre - her novels, her outstanding autobiography Enfance and her influential critical writings - by focusing on the crucial issue of difference which emerges as one of her central preoccupations. Drawing on a variety of critical approaches, Jefferson explores Sarraute's fundamental ambivalence to differences of various kinds including questions of gender and genre. She argues that difference is simultaneously asserted and denied in Sarraute's work, and that the notion of difference, so often celebrated by other writers and thinkers, is shown in Sarraute's work to the inseparable from ambiguity and anxiety.

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