This new biography of Simone de Beauvoir (1908-86) is a concise, up-to-date, critical appraisal of the life and works of the quintessential feminist intellectual, best known for her pioneering work "Le Deuxieme Sexe" (1949). Drawing on the most recent scholarship on Beauvoir's work, and newly-published and extant volumes of her diaries and correspondence, Ursula Tidd allows the reader unrivalled access to the voice of this pivotal modern figure. Beauvoir lived and worked through some of the most dramatic and harrowing events of the twentieth century, a time of huge change for women across the world, and her life was marked by many opposed tensions: living and writing, the Self and the Other, the individual and the collective, and the person and the myth.In this volume Ursula Tidd illuminates these and many other facets of a complex personality: her relentless autobiographical drive, living life as a continuously unfolding narrative; her personal and intellectual relationships, which were essentially lived as a series of dialogues with a variety of interlocutors, including Jean-Paul Sartre; her active involvement in political struggles; and how Beauvoir the woman become Beauvoir the myth.
"Simone de Beauvoir" will benefit undergraduates and the educated reader interested in a short critical appraisal of Beauvoir's life and works. The book will find a wide audience due to the current high level of interest in Beauvoir's work in Europe, North America and Asia, fuelled by the centenary, in 2008, of her birth.