Letter to D: A Love Story
May 2009, Polity
As one of France's leading post-war philosophers, André Gorz wrote many influential books, but nothing he wrote will be read as widely or remembered as long as this simple, passionate, beautiful letter to his dying wife.
In a bittersweet postscript a year after Letter to D was published, a note pinned to the door for the cleaning lady marked the final chapter in an extraordinary love story. André Gorz and his terminally ill wife, Dorine, were found lying peacefully side by side, having taken their lives together. They simply could not live without one another.
An international bestseller, Letter to D is the ultimate love story – and all the more poignant because it's true.
- An ‘open love letter’ that Gorz wrote to his
British-born wife, Dorine, whom he had met by chance 60 years
earlier and spent his life with.
- As Dorine lay dying in 2006, Gorz wrote and published this
text. A year later, on 24 September 2007, their bodies were found
in their house. They had committed suicide together.
- This is a beautifully written and very moving account of their
- This book has already been a huge success throughout the world,
selling over 50,000 copies in France and more than 50,000 copies in
Germany. It has been translated into many languages.
- An Australian edition was published in 2008 and was widely and glowingly reviewed in the Australian press.
London Review of Books
"That one 75-page missive could eclipse the seminal work of an
intellectual who impressed even the great Jean-Paul Sartre says
something about the power and resonance of this passionate and
soul-searching homage to his English wife Dorine."
Wigan Evening Post
"Gorz wants to extract the 'poison' from his previous depiction
of Dorine in his first published work. To set the record straight,
the fragile, clingy girl of The Traitor is replaced here by
an intelligent, vivacious woman on whom he is totally dependent:
'You opened up the richness of life for me and I loved life through
you.' The book's conclusion - knowing that a year later Gorz and
Dorine committed suicide together - is guaranteed to bring a lump
to the throat."
Times Literary Supplement
"A love letter of such exquisite poignancy that it has now come
to define the man."
Lancashire Evening Post
"Gorz's admiration for his wife's strength of purpose and
character, her resolve throughout her long illness, her style, her
beauty and her commitment to him are likely to make even the most
stern-hearted of readers lachrymose."
Good Web Guide
"One of the most poignant missives you'll ever read. A
meditation on a love supreme."
"This spare, elegant, best-selling memoir by a celebrated French
journalist and writer has been impeccably translated into English
by Sydney-born Julie Rose."
Sydney Morning Herald
"Neither sentimental nor polemic, this book is a celebration of
love that lasts, of passion and commitment and loyalty that
overcome illness and disappointment. It is not surprising this
intimate love-letter has struck a greater chord in Gorz's adopted
country than all of his other fine intellectual works of
"Little gem of a love story."
"The heartbreaking postscript caps off a captivating snapshot of
a grand love."
"Andre was one of the 20th century's leading philosophers, but
none of his words resonate deeper than this moving read ... In
these days of email, letter writing has become a lost art. This
book is the ultimate love letter from a man to the woman he loves
more than life itself, written after he discovered she was
"His love for her is touching and honest, made all the more
remarkable by their 58 years of monogamy."
"Gorz lays bare his heart for his beloved Dorine ... a love at
first sight that turned into a lifetime of love and companionship,
which Gorz writes about here with great reverence and
"It's not about death, it's about life and love."
"The result, freshly translated for an English audience, is an
elegiac tribute, which is spared the usual dip into saccharine
plaudits by the intellectual rigour of Gorz's impressive
"The heartbreakingly romantic French bestseller Letter to D:
A Love Story is the ultimate love letter."
"In a word: poignant."
"The true story by Andre Gorz is captivating reading."
Pregnancy & Birth Magazine