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Newly translated and unabridged in English for the first time, Simone de Beauvoir’s masterwork weaves together history, philosophy, economics, biology, and a host of other disciplines to analyze the Western notion of “woman” and to postulate on the power of sexuality.
Sixty years after its initial publication, The Second Sex is still as eye-opening and pertinent as ever. This long-awaited new translation pays particular attention to the existentialist terms and French nuances that may have been misconstrued in the first English edition, and reinstates significant portions of the “Myths” and “History” chapters, including Beauvoir’s accounts of more than seventy historical female figures that were originally cut due to length.
A groundbreaking exploration of woman as “other,” The Second Sex is a document that continues to provoke and inspire, continually and dramatically revising the way women talk and think about themselves.
“From its first sentence, The Second Sex announces its refusal of cliché, its garrulous originality. . . . Certainly, The Second Sex is interesting from a historical point of view, but much of it is still lively, still apropros: Read her description of schoolgirls and see how much of it applies to our blue-jeaned teenagers slouching over their iPhones, or how much of her writing on love applies to their mothers. One hopes that college students will reach for this new old book . . . so that we can bring back a little of [Beauvoir’s] brilliant confusion.” —Katie Roiphe, Slate
“Incredibly, [Beauvoir’s] feminist masterwork has never appeared in its entirety in English—until now. A new translation by Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier restores major cuts made to the French original—including a comparison of American and European suffragettes and a section on Renaissance female army commanders. From Eve’s apple to Virginia Woolf’s room of her own, Beauvoir’s treatise remains an essential rallying point, urging self-sufficiency and offering the fruit of knowledge.” —Vogue
“The Second Sex is the most important feminist book ever written, and yet English readers have never known precisely what it says. . . . So the arrival of Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier’s new, unedited edition is an important literary event. . . . [T]his new and complete version gives us a valuable opportunity to revisit a canonical work.” —The Barnes & Noble Review
Praise from the UK for The Second Sex:
“[A] masterpiece. . . . Restores essential passages that have been missing for 60 years.” —The Times
“Groundbreaking. . . . A fresh, much expanded, more intelligible book which repays re-reading by adherents of the old version, and cries out for attention from young women who have not been exposed to this most powerful of feminist thinkers. The Second Sex [is] the foundation text of second-wave feminism. It is probably the most important and influential philosophical treatise of the 20th century.” —The Irish Times
“The Second Sex is an inquiry into a subject with profound implications for the entire human race, and its ideas are as fresh and inspiring as they were when [Beauvoir] began work. . . . Now Beauvoir’s great work is available in a full English translation for the first time. . . . It is a fine piece of work, a lucid translation.” —The Independent