Kate Kirkpatrick Becoming Beauvoir: A Life

ISBN 13: 9781350047174

Becoming Beauvoir: A Life

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9781350047174: Becoming Beauvoir: A Life
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'One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman', wrote Simone de Beauvoir.

This is a woman who was also to become a philosopher, a novelist, an existentialist, and a feminist icon. Her novels won prestigious literary prizes and The Second Sex transformed the way we think about sex and gender. She was also the long-term lover of Jean-Paul Sartre, but it was to film-maker Claude Lanzmann that she wrote 'You are my destiny, my eternity, my life ...' in letters which only came to light in 2018.

Kate Kirkpatrick draws on previously unavailable diaries and letters, including those written to Lanzmann.

The new personal details about her life revealed for the first time by the book can only deepen the mystery and our fascination with her. Why did this 'feminist icon' edit her image so much? Why did she lie about her relationship with Sartre so often, or claim not to be a philosopher? Perhaps with so much that's new here we'll get a little closer to understanding who Beauvoir really was.

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Review:

"This powerful, important book offers a necessary and radical, new, evidence-based reading of Simone de Beauvoir's life and work. It unpicks and undermines the extraordinary torrent of belittling and sexist criticism that has been directed at Beauvoir, both in her lifetime and since, and recovers her from Jean-Paul Sartre's shadow to bring her to stand in her own light. This haunting, scholarly, and compelling biography lingers long in the reader's mind." --Suzannah Lipscomb FRHS, Professor of History, University of Roehampton, UK

"Do we need another biography on Simone de Beauvoir? Definitely! Here we finally have a biography that makes Beauvoir's philosophical ideas the focal point - not her love life. Based on new material, and written with insight, respect and sympathy, Kate Kirkpatrick re-examines Beauvoir's life and demonstrates how it was guided by her own existentialist ideals as well as twisted by her circumstances. A timely and fascinating book!" --Tove Pettersen, Professor of Philosophy, University of Oslo, Norway. President of the International Simone de Beauvoir Society

"Beautifully written and meticulously researched, Kirkpatrick draws on new material to find contradictions in previous accounts of Simone de Beauvoir's biography, including those from Beauvoir herself. Becoming Beauvoir is essential reading for anyone interested not just in Beauvoir's life, but the philosophy within it." --Fiona Vera-Gray, Assistant Professor in Sociology, Durham University, UK

About the Author:

Kate Kirkpatrick is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire, UK and Lecturer in Theology at St Peter's College, University of Oxford, UK. Kirkpatrick is the author of Sartre and Theology (Bloomsbury, 2017).

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