Simone de Beauvoir: A Life, a Love Story

Claude Francis, Author, Fernande Gontier, Author St. Martin's Press $25 (412p) ISBN 978-0-312-00189-6
Drawing on interviews with de Beauvoir before her death in 1986 and other sources, the authors have unearthed some family skeletons. One is her maternal grandfather, whose bankruptcy and imprisonment for fraud changed the family's social status. Her mother's fits of anger and sudden mood swings left their mark on the impressionable girl. The authors also tracked down hundreds of unpublished letters between the celebrated feminist and writer Nelson Algren, with whom she had an on-again, off-again affair. At the core of this biography is de Beauvoir's ""revolutionary romance'' with Jean-Paul Sartre, built on a ``radical understanding'' that gave each partner sexual freedom while they shared a common intellectual project, to know the world. In a superb biography alive with the restless spirit of its subject, Francis and Gontier (coauthors of The Writing of Simon de Beauvoir portray her as a woman who seized life from within, day by day. (May 18)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Hardcover - 415 pages - 978-2-262-00374-6
Paperback - 452 pages - 978-0-312-02324-9
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