Marguerite Yourcenar and the USA

From Prophecy to Protest- With a previously unpublished interview of Marguerite Yourcenar by T. D. Allman

by Bérengère Deprez (Author)
©2010 Monographs 182 Pages
Series: Yourcenar, Volume 2


Although Marguerite Yourcenar (1903-1987) lived in the US for almost fifty years and became an American citizen in 1947, few people understand the influence her experiences in the United States had on her work. Biographers, critics and scholars have wrongly imagined she was untouched by her life in America – that she remained French to the core, linguistically isolated, culturally «pure», that she never took an interest in the country where she lived for half her life.
Drawing on Yourcenar’s fiction and non-fiction works as well as on her voluminous archives at Harvard’s Houghton Library, this innovative analysis sheds new light on Yourcenar’s American inspirations and influences. A previously unreleased interview of Marguerite Yourcenar by the American journalist T. D. Allman, a letter from Marguerite Yourcenar written in English, an amazing photograph from Life magazine, and entries from her companion Grace Frick’s diaries are among the documents, mostly previously unpublished, which bring to life the American side of Yourcenar’s literature. This study also reveals that Marguerite Yourcenar, far from being limited to French, had an outstanding mastery of the English language. It shows how, thanks to her understanding of America and its language, she became an authentic heir to a long and vivid American tradition: protest literature.


ISBN (Softcover)
Influence d'un pays adoptif sur le travail d'un auteur Relation culturelle États-Unis/France, États-Unis/Europe Vie et travail de Marguerite Yourcenar
Bruxelles, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2009. 182 pp., 19 ill.

Biographical notes

Bérengère Deprez (Author)

The Author: Bérengère Deprez is the author of numerous articles on Marguerite Yourcenar and of one book, Marguerite Yourcenar. Écriture, maternité, démiurgie (PIE Peter Lang, 2003). She is a member of the Board of the Société internationale d’études yourcenariennes (SIEY) and of the Centre international de documentation Marguerite Yourcenar (CIDMY). This book is the result of a one-year Fulbright Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University in 2007.


Title: Marguerite Yourcenar and the USA