Simone de Beauvoir’s account of the last ten years of Jean-Paul Sartre’s life provides a focus for understanding one of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century. But the book, consisting of both a year-by-year account of Sartre’s last decade and a conversation between him and de Beauvoir about his life and work, is more than just a philosophical examination. It is also a personal dialogue of astonishing frankness that illuminates one of the most famous and complex relationships of the twentieth century.
Simone de Beauvoir was born in Paris in 1908. In 1929 she became the youngest person ever to obtain the agrégation in philosophy at the Sorbonne, placing second on the exam to Jean-Paul Sartre. She taught at lycées in Marseille and Rousen from 1931 to 1937, and in Paris from 1938 to 1943. After World War II, she emerged as one of the leaders of the existentialist movement, working with Sartre on Les Temps Modernes. The author of many acclaimed works, de Beauvoir was one of the most influential thinkers of her generation. She died in 1986.
“An intimate, personal, and honest portrait of a relationship unlike any other in literary history.”
—Deirdre Bair, The Philadelphia Inquirer
“[A] portrait of a deep love between two people who lead separate lives. Of all the many interviews Sartre gave in his life, this is perhaps the clearest.”
“An expression of [de Beauvoir’s] unquenchable loyalty and devotion, her sense of the sheer importance of the man, Sartre, le maître.”