In 1983 de Beauvoir published Sartre's letters, and when asked about her own letters to him, she replied that they had been lost. But after her death, her literary executor and adopted daughter, Sylvie Le Bon Beauvoir, stumbled upon a parcel of faded letters addressed to "Monsieur Sartre". The publication of these letters caused a storm of controversy in Paris, because they seemed to reveal de Beauvoir as a manipulative and dependent women. What comes through strongly is that she was vulnerable, passionate, jealous and committed. Frank and uncensored, they show de Beauvoir experimenting with her freedom within her love for Sartre, and trace the emotional and triangular complications of her life with him.
Publisher and industry reviews
UK Kirkus review
When Simone de Beauvoir's adopted daughter decided to publish the bundle of Simone's letters to Sartre that she found in an attic, she did little for her mother's reputation as a philosopher, but much to reveal the nature of this celebrated literary relationship. These completely uncensored letters are a curious mixture of passionate tenderness towards Sartre and extreme frankness about her many other lovers (chiefly women). Many of her erotic adventures were experimental rather than emotional, and her behaviour towards everyone except Sartre was highly manipulative. The letters cover the years between 1930 and 1963 and paint a vivid picture of wartime, and immediately post-war Paris. In revealing the private side of the revered author of The Second Sex they allow us to see what a fallible and vulnerable human being she was. (Kirkus UK)