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  • Published: 14 September 2021
  • ISBN: 9781784877002
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $24.99

The Inseparables

The newly discovered novel from Simone de Beauvoir

  • Simone de Beauvoir



This recently rediscovered novel from the author of The Second Sex is the compulsive story of two close friends growing up and falling apart.

'Life without her would be death'

The lost novel from the author of The Second Sex published in English for the first time.
The compulsive story of two friends growing up and falling apart.

INTRODUCED BY DEBORAH LEVY

When Andrée joins her school, Sylvie is immediately fascinated. Andrée is small for her age, but walks with the confidence of an adult. Under her red coat, she hides terrible burn scars. And when she imagines beautiful things, she gets goosebumps... Secretly Sylvie believes that Andrée is a prodigy about whom books will be written.

The girls become close. They talk for hours about equality, justice, war and religion; they lose respect for their teachers; they build a world of their own. But they can't stay like this forever.

Written in 1954, five years after The Second Sex, the novel was never published in Simone de Beauvoir's lifetime. This first English edition includes an afterword by her adopted daughter, who discovered the manuscript hidden in a drawer, and photographs of the real-life friendship which inspired and tormented the author.

'Gorgeously written, intelligent, passionate, and in many ways foreshadows such contemporary works as Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend' Oprah Daily

TRANSLATED BY LAUREN ELKIN. WITH AN AFTERWORD FROM SYLVIE LE BON DE BEAUVOIR

  • Published: 14 September 2021
  • ISBN: 9781784877002
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $24.99

Praise for The Inseparables

Gorgeously written, intelligent, passionate, and in many ways foreshadows such contemporary works as Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend

Oprah Daily

A passionate and tragic autobiographical story

Vanity Fair

Here is an attentive and unintimate love, one that relishes the idea of imagining, but never knowing and never delimiting, the infinite expanses of another person's mind

Merve Emre, New Yorker

[An] absorbing novel... The Inseparables is a moving coming-of-age tale about two girls battling with who and what they want to be in 20th-century Paris

Monocle

In Lauren Elkin's fine translation, the lucid, sculpted prose can flare into starbursts of introspective sensuality. It touches and grips not just as a portrait of semi-requited teenage ardour...but because Beauvoir gives the torments of belief their due... Its focus and restraint show that, even in maturity, Beauvoir could write like a dutiful daughter of the French classics

Boyd Tonkin, The Times

A succulent taster for those who don't know de Beauvoir's work and, for everyone else, a treat

Claire Allfree, Daily Mail

[The Inseparables] distils subjects that would preoccupy de Beauvoir throughout her career... [and] will introduce some readers to the defining role Lacoin played in de Beauvoir's trailblazing life and career

Economist

Translated by Lauren Elkin with exquisite finesse, it utterly conveys both de Beauvoir's heady sensuality and its immediate opposite, observant restraint... The Inseparables is a ravishing work of art

Catherine Taylor, Financial Times

This 'lost' novel by a giant of 20th-century letters reads surprisingly like a French Elena Ferrante... Lauren Elkin's translation is undistractingly smooth... The allure of this other life, as de Beauvoir describes it, remains as powerful in Elkin's translation

Nikhil Krishnan, Daily Telegraph

Elegantly translated... The Inseparables...is a rich and rewarding novella

Kate Kirkpatrick, Literary Review

Slim, elegant, achingly tragic and unaffectedly lovely in its evocation of the closeness between girls - and the pressures that sunder them

Spectator

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