'True and deeply moving.' - Annie Ernaux, winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize for Literature 'The mother of 20th-century feminism.' - Joanna Biggs, London Review of Books 'In every decade of my life since my 20s, I have been awed, confused, intrigued and inspired by Simone de Beauvoir's attempt to live with meaning, pleasure and purpose.' - Deborah Levy, author of Real Estate 'It was Alice Walker, Helene Cixous, Angela Davis, Virginia Woolf, George Eliot, and Simone Weil and de Beauvoir who mattered most to me.' - Zadie Smith, author of NW 'Navigating the complexities of end-of-life with deep compassion and dignity, this moving book is steeped in empathy and the searching, thoughtful interrogation we've come to expect from de Beauvoir.' - Sinead Gleeson, author of Constellations 'Nowhere is de Beauvoir's rigorous honesty more visible than in this haunting account of the death of her mother... As she charts her last weeks and her abasement at the hands of doctors and illness, both hostility and unexpected love play themselves out on the page.' - Lisa Appignanesi, author of Everyday Madness 'It would be hard to think that Simone de Beauvoir who flaunted so many strictures of life, would accept death.... And the intention of this memoir, which is in part a requiem and in part an exorcism, is its disturbing, defiant insistence on the fact that this can only be an utterly lonely experience.' - Kirkus 'Beauvoir's graciously written memoirs carry distinct appeal in recording the emotional and intellectual birth pangs of a fascinating woman.' - Time 'This book is written with restrained emotion and a literalness, a faithfulness to fact, that is very moving coming from a woman whom we have known as dedicated to abstractions. ... it illustrates the general tragedy of the human condition through a particularized instance. A book of near despair, yet dignified. - Library Journal
Simone de Beauvoir was born in Paris in 1908. In 1929 she became the youngest person ever to obtain the agregation in philosophy at the Sorbonne, placing second to Jean-Paul Sartre. She taught at lycees in Marseille and Rouen from 1931-1937, and in Paris from 1938-1943. After the war, she emerged as one of the leaders of the existentialist movement, working with Sartre on Les Temps Modernes. The author of several books including The Mandarins (1957) which was awarded the Prix Goncourt, and The Second Sex, a foundational book for contemporary feminism, de Beauvoir was one of the most influential philosophers and novelists of her generation. She died in 1986.