François Mauriac's masterpiece and one of the greatest Catholic novels, Thérèse Desqueyroux is the haunting story of an unhappily married young woman whose desperation drives her to thoughts of murder. Mauriac paints an unforgettable portrait of spiritual isolation and despair, but he also dramatizes the complex realities of forgiveness, grace, and redemption. Set in the countryside outside Bordeaux, in a region of overwhelming heat and sudden storms, the novel's landscape reflects the inner world of Thérèse, a figure who has captured the imaginations of readers for generations.
Raymond N. MacKenzie's new translation of Thérèse Desqueyroux, the first since 1947, captures the poetic lyricism of Mauriac's prose as well as the intensity of his stream-of-consciousness narrative. MacKenzie also provides notes and a biographical and interpretive introduction to help readers better appreciate the mastery of François Mauriac, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1952. This volume also includes a translation of “Conscience, The Divine Instinct,” Mauriac's first draft of the story, never before available in English.