Nathalie Sarraute

1900 (Ivanovo, Russia) – 1999 (Paris)

Sarraute is primarily known as one of the Nouveau Roman writers of the 1950’s-60’s. Sartre was a keen early supporter, and wrote a preface for her; she herself liked him, but found him physically repulsive. Robbe-Grillet, central to the Nouveau Roman grouping, knew her, and was on an official delegation to Leningrad with her, Sartre and de Beauvoir (whose jealous hatred of Sarraute complicated things). Barrault mounted a couple of her plays, while Butor and she helped found a writers’ union in 1968. Beckett, hiding from the Gestapo, annoyed her mother by carrying the contents of his chamberpot through the kitchen at lunchtime.