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Tropisms (French: Tropismes [tʁɔ.pism]) is an experimental novel by Nathalie Sarraute, first published in 1939. It is considered a forerunner of the Nouveau Roman.[1][2] Jean Genet, Marguerite Duras and Jean-Paul Sartre all described it as a masterpiece.[3][4][5]

Tropisms cover.png
First edition cover
AuthorNathalie Sarraute
Audio read byIsabelle Huppert (2009)
Original titleTropismes
TranslatorMaria Jolas
GenreNouveau roman
PublisherÉditions Denoël
Publication date
LC ClassPZ3 .S247 T

The title refers to tropisms, stimuli to plant growth; in the human sense, Sarraute imagined tropisms as "interior movements that precede and prepare our words and actions, at the limits of our consciousness."[6][7][8]

It was ranked #73 in Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century.[9]


Tropisms consists of twenty-four short vignettes, capturing brief scenes in minute detail.[10]


  1. ^ "Tropisms – Nathalie Sarraute".
  2. ^ Doyle, Rob. "Tropisms (1939) by Nathalie Sarraute, translated by Maria Jolas". The Irish Times.
  3. ^ "Tropisms". November 10, 2015.
  4. ^ Serraute, Nathalie (August 28, 2018). "Tropism". Alma Books – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Bell, Sheila Margaret (November 9, 1976). "The Fiction of Nathalie Sarraute: A Study of Her Work from 'Tropismes' to 'vous Les Entendez?'". British Library, Document Supply Centre – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Weiss, Interviewed by Shusha Guppy and Jason (November 9, 1990). "Nathalie Sarraute, The Art of Fiction No. 115" – via
  7. ^ Barbour, Sarah (November 9, 1993). "Nathalie Sarraute and the Feminist Reader: Identities in Process". Bucknell University Press – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Universalis, Encyclopaedia (November 10, 2015). "Tropismes de Nathalie Sarraute: Les Fiches de lecture d'Universalis". Encyclopaedia Universalis – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "Les 100 livres du vingtième siècle d'après Le Monde - Liste de 95 livres - SensCritique".
  10. ^ "Tropisms - Nathalie Sarraute".