‘What a lot Lisa Appignanesi has packed into such a slim volume. This is the ideal introduction to Simone de Beauvoir, capturing the woman, the philosopher, the lover, the public intellectual, and the fluidity between these roles. Appignanesi is brilliantly nuanced on the emotional costs of de Beauvoir’s complicated ‘pact’ with Sartre and on the way the philosophy emerged, hard-won, out of the life. It’s a book that’s attentive to de Beauvoir’s times and alive to her urgent relevance to ours.’
Dr Lara Feigel, author of Free Woman
‘… an eloquent, clear-eyed and readable portrait of an immensely complex and brilliant woman’
Lauren Elkin, author of Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London
Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) always stood in the shadow of her lover and teacher, Jean-Paul Sartre, despite the fact that she was a brilliant writer and philosopher in her own right. She described their unique partnership as ‘the one undoubted success in my life’. It is, however, her monumental study The Second Sex and her four-volume autobiography which made her a cult figure of the Feminist movement. Above everything in her writing and political activism, she valued her own intellectual honesty.
LISA APPIGNANESI is a novelist, writer and broadcaster. The author of Trials of Passion: Crimes in the Name of Love, Madness, Mad, Bad And Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800 to the Present and, Everyday Madness: On Grief, Anger, Loss and Love. Lisa Appignanesi is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.
Find Lisa on Twitter @LisaAppignanesi
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