If you want to be well supplied with reading for the winter,here is someone who wrote both novels and the famous book,The Second Sex.You probably already know de Beauvoir was the partner of Jean Paul Sartre though it was an open relationship.Despite her saying she wanted freedom I suspect she was not totally happy with that situation and also had many abortions….such a choice is not one most women would make.Here is an interview with her in the Paris Review
But I just want to introduce her novels here.And thisis for a gneral reader,not an academic.
The most ambitious is “The Mandarins“.It is very much based on her own life and caused much pain to her ex lover Nelson Algren,the writer.You will get a very good idea of post war intellectual life in Paris amongst the founders of
Existentialism .And there are many portraits of those people and their relationships.My probelns with this novel is
It looks like a novel
It feels like a novel
It’s written like a novel
But does it come alive?
For me it is too cerebral and there is little /contribution from or openness to the Imagination.I feel it was written by will power and not by the head and heart.Everything is a little detached,a little cold
On the other hand where is all that commitment now in our political/cultural life?