Longings and Belongings

Longings and Belongings is a collection of twenty-four essays published by Nancy Huston, in English or French or both, over the past two decades (1981-2002). They can be seen as milestones on her path as novelist and expatriate, mother and intellectual, dreamer and realist, body and soul. In these non-fiction pieces, Huston discusses a number of authors who have inspired or infuriated her over the years: Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Marguerite Duras, Milan Kundera, Sylvia Plath, Simone Weil, and especially Romain Gary. Though the essays cover a wide-ranging number of topics — motherhood, eroticism, war, madness, exile, the search for identity, the transgression of taboo, the moral implications of creation — they all revolve in one way or another around a single theme: the  mind-body problem.