Tete-a-tete: The Lives and Loves of Simone De Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre
They are one of the world's legendary couples. Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Startre - those passionate, free-thinking Existentialist philosopher-writers - had a committed but notoriously open union that generated no end of controversy. Through original interviews and access to new primary sources, Hazel Rowley portrays them up close: we witness Beauvoir and Sartre with their circle, holding court in Paris cafes. We learn the details of their infamous romantic entanglements with the young Olga Kosakiewicz and others; of their efforts to protest the wars in Algeria and Vietnam; and of Beauvoir's tempestuous love affair with Nelson Algren. We hear the anguished discussions that would lead to Sartre's refusal of the Nobel Prize and listen in on the couple as they comment on each other's great works. The impact of their writings on modern thought can hardly be overestimated, but Beauvoir and Sartre are remembered just as much for the lives they led. Theirs is a great story - and a great story is precisely what Beauvoir and Sartre most wanted their lives to be.
A highly readable dual biography, this is the first book to concentrate exclusively on the relationship between Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir and draws on revelatory letters and diaries previously unseen, as well as on the tesimony of people who have not wanted to give interviews before.
Born in London and brought up partly in Australia (where she taught at Deakin University, Melbourne) Hazel Rowley is the author of two previous books of nonfiction: Christina Stead: A Biography and Richard Wright: The Life and Times. Her awards include Rockefeller and Radcliffe Fellowships, and the National Book Award from Australia. She divides her time between New York and Paris.