This previously unpublished novel by French feminist and existential philosopher Simone de Beauvoir is an intimate examination of what is, for most of us, our first experience of love beyond family—that of close childhood friendship. This novel follows fictive versions of de Beauvoir and her childhood friend “Zaza” as they come of age and come to terms with what it means to be a woman, to know God, and to establish themselves as individuals in early twentieth century France. Inseparable will resonate with anyone who's ever had a friend that seems to light up the room.— Zoe
A never-before-published novel by the iconic Simone de Beauvoir of an intense and vivid girlhood friendship
From the moment Sylvie and Andrée meet in their Parisian day school, they see in each other an accomplice with whom to confront the mysteries of girlhood. For the next ten years, the two are the closest of friends and confidantes as they explore life in a post-World War One France, and as Andrée becomes increasingly reckless and rebellious, edging closer to peril.
Sylvie, insightful and observant, sees a France of clashing ideals and religious hypocrisy—and at an early age is determined to form her own opinions. Andrée, a tempestuous dreamer, is inclined to melodrama and romance. Despite their different natures they rely on each other to safeguard their secrets while entering adulthood in a world that did not pay much attention to the wills and desires of young women.
Deemed too intimate to publish during Simone de Beauvoir’s life, Inseparable offers fresh insight into the groundbreaking feminist’s own coming-of-age; her transformative, tragic friendship with her childhood friend Zaza Lacoin; and how her youthful relationships shaped her philosophy. Sandra Smith’s vibrant translation of the novel will be long cherished by de Beauvoir devotees and first-time readers alike.
French Existentialist philosopher, novelist, essayist, editor, and groundbreaking feminist Simone De Beauvoir was born in Paris, where she lived most of her life. She was the author of the feminist classic The Second Sex, several volumes of autobiography, and highly acclaimed novels, including The Mandarins, winner of the Prix Goncourt.
Sandra Smith has published over thirty translations, including Suite Française (Irène Némirovsky), But You Did Not Come Back (Marceline Loridan-Ivens), The Necklace and Other Stories: Maupassant for Modern Times, The Stranger (Albert Camus), Jacques Schiffrin: A Publisher in Exile (Amos Reichman), Create Dangerously (Albert Camus), among others. She has won the French-American-Florence Gould Foundation Translation Prize, the PEN Translation Prize, the Independent British Booksellers Book of the Year Prize and the National Jewish Book Award.
Margaret Atwood, whose work has been published in more than forty-five countries, is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry, critical essays, and graphic novels. In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, now an award-winning TV series, her novels include Cat’s Eye, short-listed for the 1989 Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; The MaddAddam Trilogy; The Heart Goes Last; and Hag-Seed. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the Franz Kafka International Literary Prize, the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Los Angeles Times Innovator’s Award. In 2019 she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in Great Britain for services to literature and her novel The Testaments won the Booker Prize and was longlisted for The Giller Prize. She lives in Toronto.