Simone de Beauvoir: A Life of Freedom

Summary


Writer, intellectual adventurer, fighter for personal and political freedom, feminist, and intimate companion to Jean-Paul Sartre for over fifty years, Simone de Beauvoir emerges from this at times highly personal book of philosophical and literary criticism as a woman who plays a major role in the lives of men and women today, and one of the most stunning and provocative thinkers of this century.

Reviews


"No other work in English attempts an analysis of the total person and of her essays and fiction."

"A scholarly yet readable work, this is essential for college and public libraries."

J. McCallisterAlbion College Library
Library Journal

"Ascher successfully combines a critical biography of French writer Simone de Beauvoir with elements of a personal essay on what de Beauvoir means to her as a sort of feminist mentor-from-afar."

Booklist

"Ascher's deeply personal exploration of de Beauvoir's life and work should have strong appeal for feminists who, like the author, "are still trying to discover what we can be...."

Publishers Weekly

"Simone de Beauvoir: A Life of Freedom by Carol Ascher is a personal view of the woman who wrote "The Second Sex." Ascher discusses Beauvoir as a woman, as a thinker and as a role-model. She sees her as someone committed to freedom, in literature and in her 50-year-long alliance with Jean-Paul Sartre, yet Ascher is dismayed by her perceptions of Beauvoir's inconsistencies in that regard. A subjective and fascinating account of a woman, who may or may not be the authentic Beauvoir."


Elizabeth WheelerLos Angeles Times, August 9, 1981

Beacon Press
1981
ISBN-0-8070-3241-7 (hardcover)
ISBN 0-8070-3241-7 (pbk.)

de Beauvoir as a girl

de Beauvoir in later years

Selected Works

Three generations of strong-­minded Rosens have gone their own ways, repairing the world while keeping a safe distance from each other, when Peter Rosen, a widowed refugee from Nazi Germany and retired German professor, takes a bad fall in the snow and a call from Spooner Street prompts his estranged daughter, Marlene Rosen, to spend a long stretch in Madison with her ailing but difficult father.
Ten-year-old Eva Hoffman's family, Austrian refugees, have found precarious safety in Topeka, Kansas. It is 1951, the year of the landmark desegregation case. As the rising river inundates the town, the Hoffman's open their home to refugees from the flood, and Eva learns the complexities of prejudice - and courage - both within and outside her family.
Memoir
"A second generation chronicle that offers rich intellectual insights while stiring our deepest feelings." Leo Spitzer, author of Hotel Bolivia "Pursing her story across two continents, Ascher, the daughter of a Vienese psychoanalyst, explores the unsettling legacy of Nazi persecution on her complicated immigrant family and ultimately on herself, in this probing, well-written memoir." - Alix Kates Shulman
Biography
Writer, intellectual adventurer, fighter for personal and political freedom, feminist, and intimate companion to Jean-Paul Sartre for over fifty years, Simone de Beauvoir emerges from this at times highly personal book of philosophical and literary criticism as a woman who plays a major role in the lives of men and women today, and one of the most stunning and provocative thinkers of this century.
Illuminating how work on a subject transforms both the work and the author, this edited collection is an effort toward building a feminist theory of biography.