The Second Sex

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Simone de Beauvoir’s Abandoned Novel Gets a Second Life


Five years after she wrote The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir began work on a novel inspired by her best friend Zaza. Her longtime partner, Jean-Paul Sartre, didn’t find it interesting, an opinion that de Beauvoir seemed to share. But three decades after her death, the novel, titled The Inseparables, will be published, thanks to de Beauvoir’s adopted daughter, Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir. “When she wrote it, in 1954, she had already honed her craft as a writer,” Sylvie says to the The New York Times. “She destroyed some works that she was unhappy with. She didn’t destroy this one. About her papers, she told me, ‘You’ll do as you think is right.’”

Image credit: Liu Dong’ao

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